Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Father Todd Arsenault, LC
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my beloved Son; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Introductory Prayer: I come before you, Lord, a sinner in awe of your great love and mercy. I believe in you, and I put you at the center of my life. I humbly put all that I am before you and, like the apostles, recognize my littleness before your grandeur. With the help of the Blessed Mother’s intercession, I place this meditation in your hands, trusting that you will give me the graces that I need most.
Petition: Lord, teach me how to listen to your voice.
1. Unexpected Graces: Peter, James and John are privileged to go with Jesus atop the mountain where he is transfigured before them. What a splendid sight it was: Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah before their very eyes. They are beside themselves and are in awe at what unfolds. This is the way Christ is with each of us. When we least expect it, he gives us a wonderful dose of his grace to strengthen us in our walk with him. This privilege, however, isn’t simply for us to look at and admire; it is a call to respond to his invitation of love. Jesus was calling these three apostles to a deeper level of love and trust in him; he is doing so with us, too.
2. Listen to Him: At this sight, the apostles are awestruck and don’t know what to say. Peter feels compelled to say something, although it seems he really didn’t know what he was saying. The question is: Why did he feel as if he had to say something? Often in the spiritual life, we can struggle with the temptation to say too much. In this Gospel passage we hear the portentous words of the Father: “This is my son with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Christ is calling us to listen attentively to his words and not to feel compelled to have to say something. He is looking for a response in action more than in words.
3. Get up. Be Not Afraid: When his Transfiguration is over, Jesus gets the three apostles up. This experience of Christ was beyond them. Yet Christ is educating them as to his true nature, his divine nature. They don’t have to be able to explain it or understand it fully; they need to act in faith. This is what we are called to do: act in faith. There is no time for us to be afraid of what the future will bring. We must get up out of our comfort zones and our attitudes, listen to Christ, and do as he says in faith. There is so much for us to do and so little time in which to do it. We need to make use of every instant to learn from the Lord himself through prayer and the sacraments and to make a real difference in the world by bringing more souls to know, love and live for Christ.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for revealing yourself to me and for showing me how to listen to God and do his will faithfully. I know that I can frustrate you, putting my two cents in and talking when I should be listening to you. I need to continue to learn how to listen more attentively to you. Please help me to be open and docile to you and your loving messages for me.
Resolution: In my prayer time today I will dedicate myself to listening to the Lord.