A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 17:1-9
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to him." When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise and do not be afraid." And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, "Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead." The Gospel of the Lord
"His face shone like the sun." I love this image. The image of the transfiguration is an image of brightness! Even the cloud mentioned in this passage is described as 'bright!' We can 'taste' this intense light of the transfiguration, when we realize and receive the foretaste of the beatific vision; seeing God face to face. Intense Light! That light can be called also the refulgence of splendor! This revelation of being truly in the fullness of the presence of God, is the revelation of Light! Have you ever met someone who walks very closely with the Lord? Maybe you can't articulate what makes them so attractive, but there is always an unmistakable 'beauty'- defined as 'light' in their eyes. This light cannot be contained, this Light is Jesus. I have met such people; they exude light, warmth, peace, they exude Jesus! One is drawn to them like a magnet, because you trust them, there is a goodness of heart a peace and every encounter with them, you leave their company more "full" and you want more! We are not meant to stop there, at the person, we are meant to hunger and thirst and seek out the fullness of that light, goodness and beauty, and He has a name, He is Jesus. Where do we find Him in his Real Presence, in his fullness? In the Eucharist. Go to Jesus, go sit by the Tabernacle close to Him and...do what? Listen! That is the command we receive today from our Heavenly Father: "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to Him." To "listen to Jesus", to truly listen to him, is more than just 'to hear him', listening implies obeying. This is what it means to truly be his disciple, it is to Be with him, it is to keep his company, it is to obey his voice, especially when times are dark and difficult and they don't make sense, we must cling to Jesus, we must heed his voice. This pleases the Father, when we listen to Jesus. Why? because the Father longs for our fullness of joy!
What temptation seems to "talk so loudly" tempting me, coaxing me away from Jesus, away from the voice of peace, mercy and love, away from the LIGHT?
2nd Meditation Point to Ponder:
Let us look at the verbs-the actions in this Gospel- what Jesus did - they speak loudly:
1.) "Jesus took Peter, James and John" (He chose 3 men among the chosen 12, he chose among the chosen)
2.) "led them up a high mountain by themselves" (He initiated the deviation in the path, the journey was now not on level ground but they were ascending upwards by themselves, less friends with them-note the parallel in your life. When the Lord chooses you to be with Him more closely, you are brought apart from even very good friends-those living a holy life, but perhaps the Lord invites you, to partake in an even greater closeness to him, how do you feel about that? The apostles were afraid, are you afraid of coming closer to Christ?
3.) He was "transfigured before them", so, in simple terms, he revealed himself (his splendor and beauty) in a very substantial way to just these 3 men and what was their reaction to hearing the voice of the Father and to seeing the brightness of His glory? They were so afraid, they fell down prostrate. We too can be terrified with coming to know Jesus more intimately, we are afraid to enter 'the spiritual.'
4.) "He came" He comes to them in their fear (as he does this with us also, He comes to us, approaches us in our fears) He comes and does what?
5.) "He touched them" that physical touch, He wanted them to feel that physical touch, that he is indeed real. He comes to us in the Eucharist, we can touch him here in the Sacrament. Then our Lord says; "Rise and do not be afraid." He commands them to look at him, as the next sentence says, that they raised their eyes, so their eyes, were not even looking at him, he had to command them to do that, to look at him, so they wouldn't be afraid. How often fear makes us, look down, not dare to look at what is alarming us at what is frightening us and so we get even more afraid, because our imagination runs away and all we have to do is look at Jesus, look at the Truth squarely in eye so to speak...
Prayer: Open my Heart to Your Presence right now in my life