After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone (Matthew 17:1-8).
We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming* of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father* when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory, “This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain (2 Peter 1:6-8).
The story of the Transfiguration is filled with Old Testament imagery: a mountain, a mysterious cloud, and a voice from heaven. The Transfiguration shows us that Jesus really is who the Scriptures and the apostles say he is. God didn’t transfigure Jesus just to impress the apostles. He did it to convince them to take him seriously as the Messiah, the Lord of glory, the Son of the living God, and God’s beloved Son. He did it so that when the apostles faced the trauma of his arrest and crucifixion, and later their own arrest and persecution, they would recall his glory and trust that somehow God would bring about a good ending.
How about you? Has God convinced you that Jesus is who he says he is? If he has, then you too can rely on him for your salvation. And you too can trust that Jesus, the Lord of glory, will be with you no matter what is going on in your life now and in the future.
Are there areas in your life that need further convincing? Then come to Jesus now. Imagine yourself on the mountain with Peter, James, and John. The Transfiguration was a day of grace and favor, when God’s revelation flowed freely. Ask God to give you a greater glimpse of his Son’s majesty as he did to Peter (2 Peter 2:16-18). Ask him to fill you with confidence in Jesus and his power to save.
The Transfiguration is a promise for all of us—we too can be changed by an encounter with Jesus! But this encounter with the risen Lord of glory is not a one-time thing. We can meet the Lord every day. We can hear him calling our name. We can know his touch in prayer. We can hear his voice as we ponder Scripture. We can find our faith strengthened as we eat his body and drink his blood at Mass.
We need to keep the commandments, of course, but we need more than that. When we yield to his Holy Spirit, we come to know Jesus, not just as the historical Messiah of Israel, but as the Lord of history – the Lord of our own personal history and the Lord of our lives!
Through our personal encounters with the Lord, we will experience everything God has in store for us. We will become steadfast in faith. Then each and every day, we can echo Peter’s cry of gratitude: “Lord, it is good that we are here” (Matthew 17:4).
“Heavenly Father, just as you revealed Jesus’ glory to his apostles, I ask you to reveal his glory to me deep within my spirit. Lord Jesus,I need a fresh encounter with you as the Lord of glory and the Lord of my life. Strengthen my faith, so that I will trust you in all things. Holy Spirit, I believe in Jesus. Open my eyes that I may see more of his glory. Open my ears that I may hear and listen more deeply.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion by Catholic Men
- Take a few minutes to read and reflect on the Scriptures on the Transfiguration at the beginning of the article. What do you think God wants to reveal to you through them?
- What do you think was the lasting impact of the Transfiguration on Peter, James, and John?
- How would you answer these questions posed by the article? “Has God convinced you that Jesus is who he says he is?” “Are there areas in your life that need further convincing?”
- In the article, we hear these words: “We can meet the Lord every day. We can hear him calling our name. We can know his touch in prayer. We can hear his voice as we ponder Scripture. We can find our faith strengthened as we eat his body and drink his blood at Mass.” What is your experience in meeting the Lord everyday through prayer, Scripture reading, and Mass? In what way is there room for improvement? What steps can you take to bring about this improvement?
- The article goes on to challenge us with these words: “When we yield to his Holy Spirit, we come to know Jesus, not just as the historical Messiah of Israel, but as the Lord of history – the Lord of our own personal history and the Lord of our lives!” How would you describe your own yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit and in making Jesus Lord of your life? What are some of the obstacles that keep you from yielding even more of your life to this work?
- Take some time now to pray that you would say yes to God the Father’s desire to reveal his Son’s glory to you and deepen your faith in him. Use the prayer at the end of the article as the starting point.