Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they were alone. Jesus' appearance was changed before them: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became bright as light. Just then Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. Peter spoke and said to Jesus, «Master, it is good that we are here. If you so wish, I will make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah».
Peter was still speaking when a bright cloud covered them in its shadow, and a voice from the cloud said, «This is my Son, the Beloved, my Chosen One. Listen to him». On hearing the voice, the disciples fell to the ground, full of fear. But Jesus came, touched them and said, «Stand up, do not be afraid». When they raised their eyes, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus. And as they came down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had just seen, until the Son of Man be raised from the dead.
The transfiguration feast gives us an impression of life afterwards. Why did Jesus choose only three, and why not all twelve? Well, He will answer that later. For these disciples it is a moment of joy and we are invited not only to celebrate, but also to participate in this joy. Even though His invitation is open and inclusive, very few people respond positively to this call.
We have a good witness from heaven and God still does so today. In the whole human encounter God acts discreetly, without imposing anything. If we give him his own place in these human encounters, he will transform them as a divine encounter. In these encounters we can easily discover that God is pleased with Jesus and He is pleased with us too. That is why He asks us to listen to His Son, His beloved.
In this listening, we can hear ourselves in the depths of our being, "Do not be afraid. ", for I am with you. Let us make good use of this feast, so that we too may experience the transfiguration and have the same joy of the disciples.
Action of the day : Try to feel the divine presence in every human encounters
«This is my Son, my Chosen one»
+ Fr. Joan SERRA i Fontanet
Today, the Gospel speaks of the Transfiguration of our Lord on Mount Tabor. Jesus, after Peter's confession, started to say that it was necessary for the Son of man to be condemned to death and that He would rise on the third day. This passage of the Transfiguration of Jesus has to be placed within this context. Athanasius the Sinaite writes that «He, who had donned our miserable goatskin tunics, is today dressed with a divine dress and a dazzling light wraps him up as a robe». The message that Jesus Transfigured brings to us is the Father's words: «This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him» (Mk 9:7). To listen means to abide by his will, to contemplate his person, to imitate him, to put into practice his advice, to take up our own cross and follow him.
To avoid any misunderstandings or equivocals, «He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man be risen from the dead» (Mk 9:9). The three apostles are looking at Jesus Transfigured, signal of his divinity, but the Saviour does not want them to spread the news until after his resurrection, when it will be possible to understand the scope of this episode. Christ speaks to us through the Gospel and when we pray; we can then repeat Peter's words: «Master, it is good that we are here» (Mk 9:5), particularly, after the Holy Communion.
Today's mass preface summarizes in a very nice way the Transfiguration of our Lord. It says: «Because the Lord, Christ, having announced his death to his disciples, reveals his glory, at the sacred mountain and, having the Law and the prophets as witnesses, He makes them understand his Passion is necessary to reach the glory of the resurrection». A lesson we Christians should never forget.