WHAT THE TRANSFIGURATION MEANS FOR US

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion

Dan 7:9-10, 13-14; Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 9; 2 Ptr 1:16-19; Mt 17:1-9


On Mount Tabor, Jesus is transfigured, from the inside out. As His face becomes bright as the sun and His clothes dazzling white, the glory of God momentarily exudes from Jesus.

Jesus manifests some of His glory to prepare His disciples for His coming Passion and to anticipate His resurrection and glorious Second Coming. And, God the Father calls us to listen to Jesus, the Eternal Word.

Yet, beyond just revealing some of His divine glory, Jesus' Transfiguration also prefigures something life-changing for us. Jesus' Transfiguration looks toward a change in us to become like Christ.

As followers of Christ, we seek to become all that we were created to be, by God's grace and our cooperation with it. God wants this to happen, in two ways far more significant than through clothes or appearance.

First, he wants change that comes from within, through the spiritual man or woman born at Baptism gradually overtaking the natural man or woman. Recall how artists depict a saint with a halo, to show them radiating and exuding holiness. We are all called to be like that. This develops through the sacramental life, prayer, and grace, as Jesus increases and we decrease. Then, we more and more reflect God's glory. As St. Irenaeus said, "The glory of God is the human person fully alive."

Next, at Jesus' Second Coming and the resurrection of the dead, the redeemed will receive a new, transformed physical body. It will be like Jesus' fully transformed, resurrected body.

Our chief task in this transformative process – throughout life – is to listen to Jesus. As the Father said, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."

If we follow Jesus' teachings and are devoted enough to surrender our most cherished possessions to Him (including our body and our appearance), then God will bless us abundantly.

Where do we need an interior transformation? Perhaps from a critical spirit, or from being impatient or self-centered? Listening to Jesus is the key, even more than we would listen to a personal trainer. His sheep know His voice and follow Him, through prayer, Sacred Scripture, and Church teaching, and He leads us to abundant life.

In all this, we should be encouraged! If God is for us, who can be against us? And, the Risen Jesus, at the Father's right hand, is interceding for us in our transformation process.

Tags: Clergy Corner, Fr. Runnion
 

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