Mark 9:5

Brothers and Sisters,

The Feast of the Transfiguration is Monday and it celebrates so many important things!

First, it is a miraculous event, obviously.  Christ floats above the ground, His face and clothes shine despite the fact that the it is nighttime and the sun has long since set below the horizon, and He is speaking to Holy Prophet Elijah and Holy Patriarch Moses – who themselves are floating in the air with Christ despite being many, many centuries deceased.

Second, this demonstrates Christ’s divinity.  While He looks and acts as a human, Christ has done miracles before this point in the Gospel.  This had earned Christ the renown of being called “the Prophet,” not “a” prophet but the One Who is to come (John 8:14).  So, prophets and others have accomplished miracles before, but, the Transfiguration demonstrates the Christ is greater than a prophet, that He is more than merely one who speaks on behalf of Almighty God.

Further, Christ is seen here to be the fulfilment of the Old Testament and everything therein.  There is so much in the Old Testament, and much of it is about the establishment of God’s chosen people Israel and the looking forward to the coming of the Messiah that would fulfill all of the law of Israel and the prophetic foresight into God’s kingdom coming to Earth.  Christ here is talking to Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophets) and is recognized as the fulfillment of all the law and all the prophets (Matthew 22:40).

Finally, it is super important to do something with this information.  This whole Transfiguration event happened on the top of a mountain.  This “mountain” is reminiscent of the sanctuary (where the Altar is) in each parish Church.  The apostles needed to go down from the mountain and tell the world about what they saw and the Faith they received from the event.  So for us as well, we need to leave the “mountain” that is the Altar and bring the grace of we have received in the Eucharist at Mass into the rest of our lives:  share that grace and knowledge of Christ with our teammates, our friends, our classmates, our colleagues, our neighbors and even strangers in public.

The Transfiguration has so much more to it.  It has the essence of the Faith and what we need to go and do with that Holy, Catholic Faith.  Here is  my favorite Transfiguration hymn: ‘Tis Good, Lord, To Be Here:

Vs 1:  ‘Tis Good, Loed, to be here!

Your glory fills the night, 

Your face and garment, like the Sun, 

Shine with unborrowed light.  

Vs 2: ‘Tis good, Lord, to be here, 

Your beauty to behold, 

Where Moses and Elijah stand, 

Your messengers of old.  

Vs. 3: You have fulfilled the past, 

You’re the hope of all things to be!

We hail Your body glorified, 

and our redemption see.

Vs. 4:  Before we taste of death, 

We see Thy Kingdom come; 

We long to hold the vision bright, 

And make this hill our home!

Vs. 5: ‘Tis good, Lord, to be here,

Yet we may not remain,

But since You bid us leave the mount,

Come with us to the plain. 

God be near,

Father Jeremy