March 5, 2023
You can now switch back and forth, driving up to what is called the Mount of the Transfiguration (Southern Galilee) where a 1924 Church recalls the moment of today’s story:
Up in 10 minutes by van, it took Jesus and his disciples several hours to climb its 1800 feet. What happened there?
A mystical experience, an out of body experience, caused partly by exhaustion, perhaps lack of food and water – but a moment where Jesus revealed that He was someone more than his friends could comprehend and that they were also something more than they thought they were. What Jesus revealed was more than they would be able to experience or understand.
We also like to catch mystical experiences and to hold onto them, but they are illusions. Today’s story reveals their purpose, for the Church today, that wanders through time – that whatever our spirituality is or our spiritual experiences are, is the end. Jesus’ Father tells us always to listen to Jesus.
The stories also tell us not to be afraid, that whatever our experiences of God are or however close that we feel to Jesus, our most important response is to listen to him.
How do we listen? Yes, we can read our sacred scriptures, we can listen to homilies, we can do spiritual reading. We can make a spiritual retreat.
But the simple instruction that God gives today is just to listen to Jesus. To sit down and be quiet. To sit down with Jesus and be quiet. There is no need to have words. Imagine Jesus looking at yourself with affection, the both of you smiling at each other. Imagine that. Try it for 5 minutes, try it for 15. Do it often, and make the time.
What is the moment of the transfiguration? What is the change? What something of Jesus rubs off on each of us, when we are touched in some way by his presence, his light, his spirit and love.
Jesus does not become transfigured to impress us. He becomes transfigured to let us know that the same presence of His Father resides in us, to let out that presence, touched by his.
Today, Jesus shows us that we are more than we believe that we are. We show Jesus and our true selves by being his good disciples, filled with his spirit and goodness. Jesus is the source and we are channeling his life and his presence and his love.
Jesus tells us not to be afraid of who we are or of God’s presence in us. Just to realize it, and ask God to open our lives and our hearts… and then Jesus flows.
St. Paul’s letter today reminds us that all of this is part of God’s design – Jesus bestowing his presence and grace on us. St. Paul writes “Jesus has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Over 3,000 years ago, God called Abraham from being a shepherd in the midst of nowhere to be a blessing to others. Today, God calls us to be the same blessing. We walk in the sandals of Abraham and Jesus and Paul.
Always, we need to look up and see the possibilities that Jesus offers, rather than in the patterns of looking down and losing hope.
Jesus’ last words to us today: “Rise and do not be afraid.” When the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.”
Jesus also tells us today that this is the vision that we are supposed to be telling everyone.
So, we are to get on with good lives, doing good, and encouraging others to do the same.
I encourage all of us to listen to Jesus, and then begin to see where life will take us!