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Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

August 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Feast Days, Liz Estler, Transfiguration

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

TransfigurationCorbertGauthierCopyright2006REQUIRES HOT LINK2

Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Mark 9:7

Not only is Jesus transfigured before the eyes of Peter, James and John, but they also hear the voice of the Father and “see” the Holy Spirit as the presence in the cloud. In this theophany, the entire Trinity is present. And, what are the instructions?  Listen to Him.

Listening is not just hearing. To be sure, it is that.  But, it is also keeping Him in our hearts. And, keeping Him in our hearts is more than just a good feeling. It entails real transformation in Christ, a real conversion of every facet and aspect of our lives, great and small: from our prayer life and our worship of God to our relationship with Him and with one another.

“Only by touching Jesus’ wounds and encountering the Resurrection are we able to grasp them, and then they become our mission.”* 

Thus, that transformation also includes joyfully descending into the muck and mire of our human existence to encounter Christ in our brothers and sisters, to be with them in their daily lives in order to suffer with them and serve them, to mourn with them, hunger and thirst with them, be humiliated with them, and to lift their burdens and draw them to Christ, who alone is everlasting life.

The event of the Transfiguration marks a decisive moment in the ministry of Jesus. It is a revelatory event which strengthens the faith in the disciples’ hearts, prepares them for the tragedy of the Cross and prefigures the glory of the Resurrection. This mystery is constantly relived by the Church, the people on its way to the eschatological encounter with its Lord. Like the three chosen disciples, the Church contemplates the transfigured face of Christ in order to be confirmed in faith and to avoid being dismayed at his disfigured face on the Cross. In both cases, she is the Bride before her Spouse, sharing in his mystery and surrounded by his light. This light shines on all the Church’s children. All are equally called to follow Christ, to discover in him the ultimate meaning of their lives, until they are able to say with the Apostle: “For to me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).**

It is important, then, to keep the long-range plan in mind: everlasting life with God.  It is also important to understand that for Jesus–just as it will be for all of us–the scandal of the Cross preceded the Resurrection. In point of fact, the Cross is the mercy seat of Christ, to which He has been exalted and from which He reigns.

So too, for you and for me, there is no ultimate glory without suffering, no eternal life without the first death. We know that Christ has gone before us to prepare the way, so that where He is we, as God’s children, may also be. And, lest we grow weary and grow faint, we already begin to experience this heavenly life, even now: our taste of the cross, united to Christ, anticipates the extent of the glory and joy that will be ours in the life to come.  Thanks be to God for all He has done for us.


* Joseph Ratzinger–Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth (Doubleday, New York, 2007), 305.

**St. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 1996), paragraph 15.


Art: Transfiguration, Corbert Gauthier, copyright 2006, used with permission.

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About Liz Estler

Editor, Liz holds a Master of Arts in Ministry Degree (St. John's Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts), Liturgy Certificate (Boston Archdiocese), and a BS degree in Biology and Spanish (Nebraska Wesleyan University - Lincoln). She has served as hospital chaplain associate, sacristan, translator and in other parish ministries. She was a regular columnist for a military newspaper in Europe and has been published in a professional journal. She once waded in the Trevi Fountain!

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  • Jeanette

    This is full of great beauty and truth. Liz, thank you and God bless you. Happy Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord!

    • LizEst

      You’re welcome Jeanette. To God be the glory! May He richly bless you as well. Happy Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord, too!

  • marybernadette

    ‘Beautiful, God bless you and thank you!’ May all of us allow the Lord to ‘transfigure’ us as He wills it, to be like HIm The Christian Vocation has it’s source in baptism and by baptism one is made another Christ, as St. Augustine said, ‘we have not only become other Christs’, but Christ himself. Of course, hopefully, as we live out our baptismal promises as priest, prophet and king, we will come to say like St. Paul (similarly aforementioned) ‘I live, now not I; but Christ lives in me!’

    • LizEst

      You’re welcome. May the Lord be praised in this and always and forever.

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