Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18, Romans 8:31-34, Mark 9:2-10
The Greek word for transfiguration is metemorphothe. It is from this etymology we derive the word metamorphosis. To undergo transfiguration is like undergoing a life metamorphosis.
We use the word metamorphosis to indicate and explain the change that occurs when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Therefore, transfiguration indicates a change that Jesus undergoes.
So, the Transfiguration experience today indicates 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. So, in these examples, there are movements or change from an old position, a place to another.
Figuration describes the appearance or structure of something. Transfiguration then simply explains a change in the appearance of something or figure of something.
Therefore, in today’s episode, Jesus transforms from what He used to be to another form of appearance that is more dazzling.
Jesus’ “face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling in white.” It was at this experience that the identity, mission and expectation demanded from the disciples are revealed by God the Father.
We need this experience in our lives, especially in this Lenten season, to transform from what we used to be, to another more dazzling form. In this Lenten season, there is a demand for every soul to undergo a total transfiguration experience.
Let us make good use of this moment to change our lives and transform it from what it uses to be to another form of appearance that is worthy and acceptable to God.
This is the time to make our souls dazzle in appearance. So let us use this moment to transform ourselves.
The Mountain Experience.
The gospel says that Jesus takes with him Peter and James and his brother John and leads them up to a high mountain where they could be alone, without the crowd, just alone by themselves. The mountainous experience is a moment of encounter between us, and God. It is a time of “alone with my God”.
In today’s mountainous experience, only Jesus and three of his apostles were together. So, it is a solemn meeting point between divinity and humanity.
So, the mountain could be a place of divine encounter, a place of prayer and the time we have a solemn moment with God.
To undergo transfiguration, Jesus did not go with the crowd. In many times He was at prayer, He was alone. So, in this Lenten season, we also need a solemn time with God alone.
Therefore, this is a time we draw inside ourselves, and ask ourselves a lot of questions. It is a time we decide to be better.
2. In today’s first reading, God called Abraham to go to the mountain in the land of Moriah. It is there that He would sacrifice His son Issac. On this mountain, God speaks to Abraham.
Also, On the mountain of transfiguration, Jesus interacts with Moses and Elijah, the ancient, holy and biblical patriarchs on the way forward.
On the mountain, The apostles also heard the voice of God as He speaks. Therefore, every day God calls us to a mountain to speak directly to us.
Hence, to undergo our transfiguration, we need this mountainous experience. We need God to speak to our souls. A mountain is a place we interact with God, listen to Him and hear Him speak to us about the way forward.
Therefore, this is a solemn time to read, eat and meditate on the word of God. Hence, in this experience, we allow God to talk to us directly.
3. On the mountain of Moriah, Abraham had an encounter with the angel of God. On the mountain of Transfiguration, the apostles had a meeting with the biblical patriarchs. Also, on this mountain, they encountered the Shekinah glory of God.
Therefore, the mountain moment is a time of encounter with God. This is what we call the “shekinah moment. Hence, to undergo transfiguration, we need this glorious encounter.
It is an encounter and relationship with the power of the Holy Spirit. In this relationship, we walk according to whatever God directs. In this relationship, we walk with the angels and operate only through the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
4. On the mountain of Moriah, God tests the faith of Abraham. Also, the mountain of transfiguration strengthened the faith of the apostles on who Jesus is.
On the mountain at Moriah, God reveals Himself to Abraham as a provider in lack. On the mountain of transfiguration, Jesus reveals Himself to the apostles.
Therefore, to worship God wholeheartedly we need to know Him. To know God, we need to draw close to Him. In this relationship, God reveals who He is to us. When we truly know God, we can stand firm even in lack.
To undergo transfiguration we need to know the God we worship. He is God who is ever merciful and willing to provide as He did to Abraham even when it looks as if He will not.
Significant things Happen On the Mountain.
1.The mountain in the Hebrew’s understanding is a place of prayer. It is a place of encounter with God. The mountain experience is a time of interaction and communication with the divine. So, it is a moment we decide to have interaction with God and listen to Him.
2. It is a time of meeting with the divine. Moses meets God on the mountain (Exodus 34:29-35). Mountains have a logical religious symbolism for Jewish cultures. As a result, God often reveals himself on a mountaintop.
It is a moment God would reveal who He is to us. It happens when we decide to have time for Him and meet Him often. In this Lenten season, do not joke with visitation to the Blessed Sacrament. Make it a lifestyle.
3. Great things happen on the mountain. On the mountain today, God blesses Abraham after testing His faith. Also, It is on the mountain of today that God shows Abraham He is a great provider.
Just like God provides for Abraham, it is on the mountain that we receive gifts from God. It is must not necessarily be material gifts. God also gives us many spiritual gifts and blessings through our encounter with Him.
Remember also that On Mount Sinai, Moses received the gift of the law, the Ten Commandments. On Mount Carmel, Elijah proves to the prophets of Baal that God is the true God. He invokes fire from heaven on the sacrifice (1 Kings 18).
Therefore, salvation, inspiration, deliverance, the forgiveness of sins, favours, miracles, healing, blessings, open doors etc., are received through our encounter with God. In this Lenten season, there should be this inner joy to undergo such a mountainous transfiguration.
4. Significant things happen on the mountain, and to transfigure, Jesus goes up to the mountain. Every Christian must develop the attitude of the mountain. This is the attitude of having a place of daily encounter with God. To transform our lives, we must develop the meeting point between the spiritual and the physical.
Secondly for Jesus to converse with spiritual beings, there was a transfiguration. Jesus has been in constant communication with the Father, but the event of today is full of meanings. If we need a relationship with God, we have to change from what we used to be to what God wants us to be. We have to change from our old nature to the new nature.
When Important Thing Awaits You.
When an important thing awaits you, God can use any means to draw you close to Him. Today, Jesus goes with only Peter, James and John, and the three have important things waiting for them in the future.
Peter would be the head of the apostles, John is beloved and the last to die, but His brother is the first to undergo martyrdom. If God is preparing you for something, He will allow you to undergo some certain experiences that would prepare you for it. Most of these experiences will help reveal to you what your mission is and God you are about to serve.
Out of the Crowd.
The questions we will like to ask ourselves are “where are the crowd? Why did Jesus always leave the crowd whenever He wants an encounter with the Father? Where are the other disciples?
To truly change from what we used to be, we must go out of the crowd> We must associate with only the people that have a positive impact on the way we live.
Anything or anyone that tries to distract us from this should be avoided. They can come in form of worldly pleasures, worldly desires, Facebook posts, videos, friends, in form of conversations.
Let us be focused on the Journey towards our renewal and not on the distractions we meet on the way. To change, we must have alone time with God, and we must go out of the misleading crowd.
The True Identity of Jesus
1. Before the gospel of today which is in Mark 9, we see In Mark 8: 27-30, when Jesus was asking His apostles “who do people say I am”. In Mark 9 Jesus then reveals who He truly is through the transfiguration.
Hence, to transform, Jesus becomes in the form of light, dazzling. Let us not forget that in John 1:5, John says 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.” Therefore, through the transfiguration, Jesus reveals that He is truly the light.
2, Secondly, Jesus is the Word made Flesh. Jesus fulfils the law and the words of the prophets. The presence of Moses (represents the law), and Elijah (the prophets) confirms this.
These are the most authoritative portions of the Hebrew Scriptures, and two of the most important Old Testament figures. Through the transfiguration, He reveals that He is the one the law and the prophets prophesied of His coming, and He is the fulfilment of the law and prophets.
3. Finally, the Father confirms Him again to be the true beloved Son. It then means that He did not come on His own and who He is, is beyond the physical.
This revelation about Jesus also indicates the relationship that exists between the Son and the Father. So, through the transfiguration, the true identities of Jesus are revealed.
4. If we need light, if we want our lives to shine even in 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 shone so brightly that the people were frightened, and Moses had to wear a veil over his face (Exodus 34:29-35).
Paul promises that we who have seen the Lord’s glory shall also be transformed “into the same image, from one glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Revelation speaks of the Son of Man’s face “like the sun shining with full force” (Revelation 1:16). To fully comprehend the message of salvation, we need Jesus, and to encounter the glory as shown on the mountain top, we need Jesus. He is from God and no other place.
Listen To Him
1. While Peter was still speaking” The voice interrupts Peter. God repeats his words at Jesus’ baptism (3:17), adding “listen to him.”
What do we get from this experience? Do remember that Peter was speaking out of his human understanding. Then there was a command to listen to the One who God has sent. He is already the fulfilment of the law and the words of the prophet, Who is the Word made flesh (John 1:14).
Therefore, to undergo transfiguration, 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. Many will tell you that Jesus never existed. Many will say a lot of things to mislead your faith. Let us be properly guided by the word of God.
1. 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. To undergo transfiguration, we must ready to live by God’s word.
The problem of today is that we find greater pleasure in reading things that do not concern God, but when it comes to God, we become weak overnight. Let us develop joy to listen to Jesus and have quiet and special moments with Him.
2. Jesus Instituted the Church as a representation of His divine authority on earth (Matthew 18:17-18). When early Christians face any problem concerning faith and morals, they seek the intervention of the Church.
God here demands that we should listen to His Church. When we are faced with serious doctrinal and ethical questions, marriage issues, questions on moral, listen to the Church. The Church is wise and guided by the Holy Spirit.
3. Are you worried, are you in difficulties, you do not know how to pray, are you facing temptations, are you struggling with weaknesses and sins, are you in doubt and need to strengthen your faith, what do you think you need, open His words and find what he says about that and simply, listen to Him.
4. Out of the 24hours we have every day, which particular hour have we given to God? Must we have to become busy all through the day? To undergo our transformation, we need time with the Lord.
We should cherish this time so much and treat it as sacred and solemn. To undergo transfiguration and change, we must develop the attitude of spiritual encounter with God. We have to go out of the crowd and out of any form of distraction.
5. Let us change from the filthy things we do and be focused. For our nature to be transformed, especially in this season, we need Jesus the true light.
We have to read and internalize His words, and Finally, we have to obey even the minutest details of all He says. He came that we may have life and have it in abundance. In this Lenten Season let us follow Him with love and obedience.
Happy Sunday and God bless you.