Today the Church celebrates the feast of transfiguration. The feast of transfiguration reminisces how Jesus transfigured on the mountain. The Greek word for “transfigured” is metemorphothe, from which we get the word metamorphosis. We use it to describe the change that occurs when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Transfiguration experience explains that there was a change in the appearance of Jesus today.
Trans describes anything that has to do with movement and change. Examples are transport, transformation, transfer, etc. In these, there are movements or changes from an old position, place etc., to another. -figuration describes the appearance or structure of something.
Transfiguration then explains a change in the appearance of something or the figure of something. In the feast of transfiguration today, Jesus transforms from what He uses to be to another form of appearance that is more dazzling.
Jesus’ “face shines like the sun, and his clothes become dazzling in white.”
It is in this experience that God the Father reveals the identity, mission and His expectation from the disciples.
Therefore, to experience a change in our lives, let us grab some points from today’s gospel.
1. Out of Many but Few.
One question we have to ask today is where are the other apostles? Why did Jesus go out with only a few? And sometimes whenever Jesus wants to have an encounter, He will leave the crowd to stay alone.
Today, He takes the three who have significant roles to play in the growth of the Church. Jesus explained their roles in John 21:15-25. James was the first murdered and John the last to die. Peter became the leader of the Church.
Here, Jesus teaches us that if we need a change, we do not need to be swallowed in the crowd.
We have to walk out of the many like the woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9:20-22. Then journey with those who can have a significant impact on us.
2. Always Go to the Light.
In the feast of transfiguration today, the real identity of Jesus was revealed. First, Jesus is the Light of the World. Therefore, to transform, Jesus became in the form of light and was dazzling.
Let us not forget that in John 1:5, John says that He is the light that shines in the darkness, and which darkness cannot overcome.
In John 8:12, Jesus personally says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Secondly, Jesus is the Word that made Flesh. Jesus fulfils the law and the words of the prophets. The presence of Moses (represents the law) and Elijah ( represents the prophets) confirms this. These are two of the most important figures of the Old Testament.
Finally, the Father confirms Him again to be His true beloved Son. So, today, the real identities of Jesus are revealed.
Therefore, in the feast of transfiguration God is revealing to us that If we need light, if we want our lives to shine even in the midst of darkness, we need Jesus. To meet Jesus is to meet the light.
This reminds us of Moses at Sinai. After his encounter with God, Moses’ face shines so brightly that the people were frightened, and Moses had to wear a veil over his face (Exodus 34:29-35). If we need change, if we need light in our lives, family, in whatever we do, bring them to Jesus. Only He can make our star shine.
3. Listen to Him.
While Peter was still speaking” The voice of God interrupts Peter. He says “This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to Him”.
Here, God repeats his words at Jesus’ baptism (3:17), adding “listen to him.”
What do we get from there? Peter speaks out of his human understanding and then God gives a command to listen to the One who He sends to save us from sin. He is already the fulfilment of the law and the words of the prophet. Jesus is the Word that becomes flesh (John 1:14).
Therefore, to transfigure, let us listen to the gospel and follow whatever Jesus says. Let us not be misled by the words of men who speak out of worldly inclinations, men who conjure things up out of their human understanding. Jesus should be our guide.
To be fully transformed, we must pay attention to Jesus. The demand on the mountain to “Listen to Him” is a command and not probable. That was the actual direction from the Blessed Virgin Mary at the wedding at Cana to “do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). Obedience to this command is the secret of change, miracle, healing, and total transformation.
4. Be not Afraid
On hearing the voice of God, the disciples fell on the ground and became extremely afraid. Because of fear they didn’t know again what truly happened and how Moses and Elijah disappeared.
This is an experience that would have given them the joy to observe but fear couldn’t give them a chance. This is how fear has made many of us limit our potential.
We have lost glorious opportunities because of fear of the unknown, fear of mistakes and fear of what people will say. To transfigure, we need to conquer our fear.
5 Only With Jesus.
In Matthew’s account (Matthew 17:1-9), the touch of Jesus woke up the apostles from fear. Therefore, to wake up from our slumber, to rise from our comfort zones we need His daily touch. We need this also to conquer our daily fears. Let us always open ourselves to Him.
Secondly, when they looked up, they didn’t see any person except Jesus. A sign that the prophets and patriarchs and all created things bear witness to Jesus. We then need to walk and encounter Him daily, to conquer our fears and for total transformation.
We can learn these through the feast of transfiguration today. Therefore, we need to remain close to Jesus for the sanctification of our souls. When we encounter Jesus, we meet total transformation and liberation of our souls. Therefore to meet Jesus is to meet light, change, and divine upliftment.
May God bless you and help us to change from our evil ways to good. May we encounter Jesus daily in our lives, Amen.