I would like to begin, strangely, from the last Sunday, with the temptations of the Lord, by asking this question to me, who is Jesus to me. Today’s gospel invites us all to have a mystical experience of the Trinity, not alone, but with the disciples of the Lord, accompanied by Moses and Elijah. In this discovery of Jesus, Today's psalm presents us with another similar reality of temptation from the Lord, to which we all go through daily. The Lord is my light and my salvation is an expression of hope when one is living in darkness where real hope has totally disappeared. The prayer of this psalmist presents us with a situation that is totally in disarray, yet it shows us the hope that man can rely on in difficult times. We know that in the book of Job, he will repeat the same prayer, when he is confronted by rejection and death. It is here Jesus has chosen to reveal to the humanity. The transfiguration is not the revelation of the Lord of glory, rather a subtle revelation of the passion that He will undertake. It is in this moment of passion that Job expresses his hope and we are called to imitate the same expression.
I am sure I shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
"Hope in the Lord, be strong and take courage;
hope in the Lord."
It is in this hope that Abraham becomes the father of faith. We have that rare recognition by God when He deems that a man was righteous before God. A righteous man standing before God, gives glory to God, says St. Ignatius of Loyola whom we celebrated yesterday on the 400th anniversary of his canonization. The first reading narrates to us that all day long Abraham will wait for himself with immense patience, knowing nothing of what is reserved for him and in the end he will see God in the night. God wanted to meet Abraham in vision, in sleep, in his brokenness. This sleep or brokenness is sacred to God, because through this sleep God gives hope to humanity.
Going into the desert of life voluntarily, even more so, urged on by the Holy Spirit, or climbing the mountain with the Lord after an exhausting day, or even carrying the cross like Simeon, make us discover an exceptional grace that God grants to his faithful who follow the Lord in love. Especially to those who know how to carry the cross, their own cross of the day. Is it not good to go through these moments of darkness, like St. John of the Cross, in his prison, in order to better assimilate the wonders of God, which are so close and so far, all depending and conditioned by your own will, or your readiness to undertake a path unknown or less travelled by the world? St. Paul invites us to fix our gaze not on the visible and palpable elements, but on the elements of heaven, of God, to stand firm in the Lord.
Today’s gospel gives us the hope that, if we have the courage to climb with the Lord on the mountain, we will certainly see that face shining and making everything around it shine. Not only his face, and the men around him, but also his clothes. What an exceptional and mystical experience, yet it all happens in sleep, a sleep voluntarily imposed by the Lord. Let us not be afraid of this sleep willed by the Lord, He willed it from the beginning of creation. Sleep is a fruit of our tiredness and in our tiredness, God discreetly acts and transforms us. The failures of life, the discouragements and betrayals are from time to time this sleep, and let us entrust everything to the Lord, so that he may transform them. When we wake up from our slumbers, we will find ourselves totally transfigured by the Lord.
The source of this transfiguration for the contemporary world will certainly be the law of the Lord presented by Moses and the prophets, represented by Elijah. If we have heard the temptations of the Lord, we have certainly discovered that the sacred Scriptures will give us a solid and practical answer, so let us read the Bible regularly. The Lord even invited the Devil to read these sacred scriptures. The Church continues to teach us, so that we may have the same experience of transfiguration. A newness that man will discover little by little.
In the face of the experience of newness, the temptation is great for us to be nostalgic and to project ourselves into the past, imposing tents, so that this God continues to dwell in the way that man would like. The Tent was certainly God's dwelling place. Yet today's gospel invites us to abandon the past and to move towards the newness that Jesus proposes to us: to worship God in Spirit and in truth. He will no longer be chained in the tents; God has chosen the hearts of men.
It is in this newness that the disciples of the Lord are invited to discover Jesus. Today's Gospel affirms this. They enter and experience a new transfiguration, no longer in sleep, but in truth, like Moses and Elijah. Man is invited to dialogue with God and to discover his will, the promised passion.
Like any divine encounter, the transfiguration of the Lord brings us a message with a revelation. Today, they certainly had a divine revelation, a mystical experience, a project that is coming, a project that Jesus will fulfil. The fulfilment of the law and the prophets. In order for us to participate in this divine project, God asks us to listen to his only Son, the one sent by the Father, the only and best means available to men of good will. Next Sunday we will hear the message of Jesus. Let’s have some patience, be watchful and attentive. Amen.