Transfiguration Sunday


The Feast of the Transfiguration

Malcolm Guite’s “A Sonnet for the Transfiguration” begins: For that one moment, ‘in and out of time’, On that one mountain . . . and ends thusly: Eclipse that glimpse of how things really are.

This makes one think about what the scene on the mountain really means. I am basically referring to Luke 9: 28-36. You can read it to see how you might interpret it. In this scene on the mountain top, Peter sees three images: Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Three very important prophets in biblical history. All were messengers from God, to whom nobody really listened until many ages later. All were spurned in their life on Earth.

Many times, the apostles lacked understanding of what Jesus said in his parables; and Jesus took the time to explain their meanings. By the time the Transfiguration occurred, the apostles were not yet commissioned, or taught, all that Jesus later conferred on them. Understanding this, could Peter have misinterpreted, or at least misidentified, the three images. (I am thinking the Trinity here.) All three figures were semi-clouded in mist, so this could easily have happened. A voice, presumably God’s, says, This is my Son, my Chosen, listen to him. They kept silent? Why? Did they not understand?

Perhaps the transfiguration occurred in the minds and hearts of the apostles, not in Jesus. Guite ends with the words, as things really are. Jesus was not transfigured on the mountain; He was always the Son of God, living as the true earthly image of God. (Think about the dove coming from heaven when John baptized Jesus.) I feel that the Transfiguration occurred in the eyes of the apostles. For the first time, they truly saw Jesus as Jesus truly was . . . as he truly is.

Just something to ponder on . . .  


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