When Jesus was transfigured, His Apostles needed to listen and learn – and we need to do the same
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6, 2018): DN 7:9-10,13-14; PS 97:1-2,5-6,9; 2 PT 1:16-19; MK 9:2-10
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In the Gospel reading for this feast of the Transfiguration, Jesus invited Peter, James and John to come with Him for a singular and miraculous moment.
Jesus Christ was transfigured by brilliant light and joined by Moses and Elijah. The Apostles were overwhelmed since the event was beyond their comprehension at that time. “Peter said to Jesus…, ‘Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified” (Mark 9:5-6). Immediately after this, the voice of the Father comes from a cloud urging them to pay attention to whatever His Son says.
We can certainly appreciate the fear and foolishness of these three disciples. They feel like they must somehow respond by doing something, anything to acknowledge this powerful occasion. They have just witnessed the Law in Moses and the Prophets in Elijah recognizing their Master. The men closest to Jesus have just seen their good, loving and humble teacher reveal His divinity. Later, Peter, James and John will accompany Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane at the start of His passion, grieve His death and rejoice in His Resurrection. Only then will they and the other Apostles and disciples truly grasp that their beloved Jesus is not only the Messiah but also the Son of God and Savior of the world. Like the men who beheld the Transfiguration, we often rush to manage a situation before we understand it. We fail to pause, pray, and humbly turn ourselves over to God’s will – as Christ did.