This Sunday’s Gospel gives us an account of the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain. Before the humiliation of his crucifixion and death, Jesus brings three of his apostles to an experience of his glory. Moses and Elijah appear there speaking to Him. Jesus knows of what we are made. He knows we are fitful and frightened creatures. He knows that we dread the cross, that we fear loss. So he brought these apostles to Mount Tabor to experience his glory.
This is a meditation on this Gospel from one of my sisters:
Our community receives prayer intentions from many people who entrust to us their most heartfelt desires or deepest fears and problems. We pray for these persons who are encountering the cross and bearing life’s burdens. Though we all bear the cross in some way, in order to be like Jesus and to be with Jesus, we need to remember our own Mount Tabor moments. We all have had them.
These joyfully transfigured moments may have been celebrations of weddings, watching sunsets or sunrises with someone we love, the birth of a child, an experience of God’s presence at prayer or the liturgy. If we can’t remember a Mount Tabor experience, then perhaps our eyes have become more accustomed to the cross than to the transfiguration. Though the crucifixion and death of Jesus play an important part in redemption, they are only a part of the great paschal mystery, which includes the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. John even refers to the death of Jesus as his glorification.
Even in the midst of the crosses we carry we need to keep our sight attuned to Jesus, who bursts in upon our lives with light, with hope, with the sudden surprise of resurrection.
It is hard to do this. Contradictions, failure, or fear can wear us down unless we are invincible in our courage. The best place to begin anew to expose ourselves to the trans-figuration of Jesus is in prayer—not the prayer that pleads for what we think we absolutely must have, but the prayer that quietly asks for light and surrenders to hope.