Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Dn 7: 9-10, 13-14
2 Pt 1: 16-19
Year A: Mt 17:1-9; Year B: Mk 9, 2-10; Year C: Luke 9: 28b-36
Christ allowed some of his apostles to see him transfigured precisely to strengthen them for the coming crucifixion, and for the suffering that they also would endure for proclaiming the Name of Christ. The preacher, on the Feast of the Transfiguration, can do the same for the people: strengthen them for the trials of their lives by reflecting on who Christ is, who calls them and accompanies them each day of their lives. If in the Church we think of Christ just as a role model or teacher, we will get some inspiration, but it will not be sufficient to sustain us for the sacrifices that fidelity requires. It is only when we see him in the light of the Transfiguration, and with an understanding of his identity as God, that we begin to understand that our strength does not simply come from his example, but from his living presence among us and within us. He lives in us, he loves through us.
In the second reading, Peter begins to make a comparison of “a lamp shining in a dark place.” The image changes at the end. We might expect him simply to say that we keep our eyes on the lamp in the dark place until the morning star rises, and gives light to the whole place. But he says that it rises “in our hearts.” The image has shifted to the internal world. But then again, perhaps it hasn’t shifted that much, because the rising of the morning star in our hearts represents our faith in Christ Transfigured – the Christ of Glory. This light given to our heart, our mind, our every choice, then indeed enlightens the external room, and the external world of our lives. We see creation and circumstances much more clearly because we know who Christ is and what he calls us to do.
This presence of Christ who strengthens us for sacrifice can then be applied to the challenges we have and the sacrifices we have to make in order to say “Yes” to life – the lives of our own children, and the lives of those in danger, who need our advocacy.