Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain. There his appearance was changed before their eyes. Even his clothes shone, becoming as white as no bleach of this world could make them. Elijah and Moses appeared to them; the two were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter spoke and said to Jesus, «Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah». For he did not know what to say; they were overcome with awe. But a cloud formed, covering them in a shadow, and from the cloud came this word, «This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him». And suddenly, as they looked around, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus with them.
As they came down the mountain, He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man be risen from the dead. So they kept this to themselves, although they discussed with one another what ‘to rise from the dead’ could mean.
Finally they asked him, «Why then do the teachers of the Law say that Elijah must come first?». Jesus answered them, «Of course, Elijah will come first so that everything may be as it should be... But, why do the Scriptures say that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be despised? I tell you that Elijah has already come and they have treated him as they pleased, as the Scriptures say of him».
Faith is a gift from God and this gift is given to all those who search for it. However, very few are able to perceive this gift and profit from it. This faith begins with a simple belief of God’s goodness and He never desires evil for us. From this simple foundation, we will certainly climb up in life, because in His goodness, we will find out in our life, how God has blessed us. The more we find God’s goodness in us, the more we will find the joy of sharing the same with others. For an example, the gift of teaching is shared by the very act of teaching and this very act gives us the joy of teaching. Thus every aspect of life is being multiplied and this inner joy is also multiplied. A teacher who doesn’t see this as a gift, will certainly be tired of teaching, and finally end up being frustrated, because they expect another gift from God for the service of teaching. This will be certainly a tragedy of life. A person of faith will never live this.
Jesus in today’s gospel takes the disciples to a high mountain. God always elevates us and brings us closer to Him, so that we may see this God and be nourished by this divine encounter. Certainly, we don’t understand every aspect of this encounter and it is practically impossible, without the grace of God. We need time and space to understand. Just like the disciples, who fell back to the Lord for an explanation, we should in our humility go back to the same Lord for an explanation and He will certainly explain to us, with patience and clarity.
If the Lord asks his disciples not to share what they have seen, it is because they haven’t grown enough to see the truth, as a divine revelation. They saw everything with the human glory and it’s not the finality of what Jesus wished for His disciples. Jesus wished through this transfiguration, that the disciples understand, the divine intervention, the death and the resurrection, and finally the accomplishment of divine promises, the sacred writings and the prophecies. The inner silence will teach us greater things. The disciples will certainly witness what they have seen and lived, after the descending of the Holy Spirit.
This moment of transfiguration is not of the past, God does continue to reveal to us, even today, here and now. Do we see them and most importantly, do we see and perceive everything with a right perceptive and with an eye of the Lord?
«He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen»
Fr. Xavier ROMERO i Galdeano
(Cervera, Lleida, Spain)
Today, the Transfiguration in Mark's Gospel presents us an already solved enigma. Saint Mark's evangelic texts are full of messianic secrets, of isolated moments where Jesus forbids telling no one what He might have done. Today, and right here, we have a “sample”. When Jesus «ordered them (his disciples) to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man be risen from the dead» (Mk 9:9).
But, what, does this Messianic Secret consist of? The messianic secret consists in lifting the veil a little to slightly reveal what is hidden below; for the whole mystery will only be totally uncovered, in the light of his Paschal Mystery, when Jesus' last days are over. We can see it clearly in this Gospel: Transfiguration is just a moment, a taste of glory, to give the apostles the possibility to decipher the meaning of that intimate moment.
Jesus had announced his disciples the imminent moment of His Passion, but upon seeing them so perturbed because of his tragic final, He explains with words and facts how his last days would be: days of passion and death, but days that will be over with his resurrection. Here is the enigma unraveled. Saint Thomas Aquinas says: «To properly walk one's way it takes one to know first, somehow, the target one is aiming at».
Our Christian lives have also an aim uncovered by our Lord Jesus Christ: to enjoy God's unfailing love forever and ever. But this target will not be lacking in moments of sacrifice and crucial pains. However, we have to remember the live message of today's Gospel: in this apparent blind alley which, so often, seems to be our life, because of our fidelity to God, and while spending our life immerse and living in the spirit of the Beatitudes, the tragic ending will be cracked to give way to our enjoying God eternally.