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Feast of the Transfiguration

Feast of the Transfiguration.

Dear OLPH Family and Friends,

Every year we hear an account of the Transfiguration on the Second Sunday of Lent.  Then, we hear the same account on this feast, which occasionally falls on Sunday. Celebrating this event outside of Lent gives it a somewhat different character. The readings focus on the glory of Christ, foreshadowed in Daniel’s vision of the “Ancient One” to whom the Son of man is presented. Our reading from 2 Peter recalls the event and then it is described once again in the Gospel.

Jesus’ followers had come to recognize and understand who He was as a man but this great event finally started to show them who He is as Son of God. Jesus had heard the words of favor at the time of His baptism. Now He had witnesses. He selected disciples were finally able to get a glimpse of what God intended for them too.

The account of the Transfiguration was meant to reassure Jesus’ disciples and to prepare them for His passion. Matthew draws parallels between Jesus’ experience and that of Moses. Matthew identifies Jesus as the new Moses, the new lawgiver. In the mountain top experience Moses appears representing the Law. Elijah is also present to represent the prophets. They speak with Jesus as their equal. Both the Law and the Prophets are united in the Person of Jesus.

Peter, being a practical man, wanted to put up tents and stay for a while.  It was very much like the experience of having to “come down off the mountain” after a Cursillo weekend or a retreat.

Until this mountaintop moment in Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus is presented as someone who is exceptional. He is also seen as human – a man who amazed people with His miracles and His teachings. But He was still in many ways just like you and me. Until Jesus is seen with Moses and Elijah He is considered to be like the great prophets. After the voice in the cloud spoke the words “this is my beloved Son…listen to Him.” Jesus, we are told by this voice, is unique in all human history, transcending all those who have gone before. He alone is God’s Son! Then, out of the cloud, comes the only directive that the voice from heaven gives. It is not “worship Him.” It is not “adore Him.” It is not even “praise Him.” It is simply “listen to Him.” This heavenly voice isn’t just informing us that Jesus is God’s Son to give us information. The voice is encouraging us to understand and live out the message that we are all God’s sons and daughters. We pray today and always that we may live as such.

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Ron