February 18, 2023
Saturday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings for Today
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Mark 9:2–3
The message of the Transfiguration must become, for each of us, a message that inspires the deepest hope throughout life. Through this event, the glory of God was revealed, the teachings of Moses and the prophets were confirmed, and the Father sent forth the only message we need to understand: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” If we can understand this truth and follow this command, we will eternally share in the glories the Transfiguration revealed.
To begin, consider the fact that this revelation, by which the human veil of Jesus’ flesh was lifted, left Peter and the other disciples in a state of holy awe. Peter wanted to remain on the mountain with His transfigured Lord forever. Contrast this to his choice to run when Jesus was arrested and then to deny he even knew Jesus. When he saw Jesus’ sacrifice begin, he ran and hid. But here, when he sees Jesus’ glory, he wants to remain with Him forever.
The first lesson we can take from this passage is that it is much easier to embrace glory than sacrifice. It is much easier to choose that which gives consolation than that which results in fear and confusion. And though this is understandable from the perspective of fallen humanity, it is certainly something we must work to correct in our spiritual lives, just as Peter ultimately corrected in his life.
The Transfiguration was given to these disciples, in part, to help them down the road as the Father invited them to embrace a life of sacrifice. Eventually they would come face-to-face with their own crosses, and they would have to make a decision as to whether they would embrace those crosses out of love. Sacrifice means just that: embracing suffering out of love. One thing that helps one choose sacrificial love is a knowledge of what that sacrifice produces. That is what the Transfiguration provided. By seeing the transfigured glory of Jesus, Peter, James, and John were eventually able to deduce in their minds and hearts that the sacrifice that Jesus foretold would ultimately end in eternal glory.
Though you most likely have never had the experience of seeing the transfigured glory of Jesus with your own eyes, many have received spiritual consolations at various times in life. When this happens, we want them to remain. But they rarely do. Instead, God gives us just a glimpse of His glory so that we can hold on to that memory and use it when we need it the most. And those times will come when we listen to and obey the voice of the Father. “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Reflect, today, upon the fact that the Jesus Who is now in glory is that same Jesus Who walked the earth. He is the same Jesus Whose teachings are recorded in Scripture. The same Jesus Who suffered injustice. And the same Jesus Who rose victoriously. Our lives are filled with many experiences, as was true of Jesus. Therefore, the only way to unite every experience we have in life is to follow the command of the Father. “Listen to him.” Listen to the voice of the Savior. Follow Him up the mountain of consolation. Remain with Him through every suffering and cross. And listen to everything He teaches. If you do, one day you will, indeed, be invited to remain with Him in glory forever.
Transfigured Lord, along with Peter, I also desire to remain with You forever. Give me the grace I need to always remain with You, no matter where You lead. May I remain with You during every sacrifice I am asked to offer, every suffering I endure, and every consolation that blesses my soul. May I always listen to You and obey Your holy Word. Jesus, I trust in You.