Second Sunday of Lent C: March 13, 2022
Luke 9: 28b-36
Fr. John tran
What does the Transfiguration of Jesus mean for his disciples who were with Jesus?It show them at the very least that Jesus was favored by God.To Peter, James and John, it was meant to be a comforting sign that Jesus was the Son of God, which was supposed to give encouragement and comfort when Jesus’ passion and death came about.
What does the Transfiguration mean for us, today?To a person of faith, it shows much more than a proof of divine sonship.And for that, we need to keep in mind what St. Paul said in today's epistle from Philippians:“[Jesus] will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.”
To transfigure or transform, the thing or person changed does not cease to be itself or his or herself.It means that the core of that reality is made either better or worse.For us being transformed into Jesus’ glorified body is certainly a change for the best.Perhaps we too often think of this change more in terms of after we die.But that is not the whole truth of it.
In reality, our change into Jesus’ glorified body begins now.That change is basically that we more and more begin to think of others rather than our own needs.We begin to think more like God, we begin to grow more like Jesus, the very body that we are becoming.What a difference I can make if I take time to notice those in need around me, and not only those in physical need, but in need of someone to listen, to reassure, to be companion with, to forgive, to help grow.
I think this story shows just what transfiguration can be.
In Port Arthur, Texas, there is a special school for very sick children, most of whom have few, if any, motor skills. One very sick boy lived at that school, dying little by little. As tragic as that is, that’s not the point of the story. Unfortunately, children get grievously ill every day. This little boy, though, had the good fortune to be living in the same community with some faithful believers who took the Transfiguration story as their own. God’s glory lived in them. They carried it with them wherever they went. A group of these folks joined together to go to this little boy every day and read to him. Since he was slowly dying, unable to move or read for himself, their act of kindness and ministry was the only activity that brought him any comfort. The social workers were amazed. Just being read to by three different women, one every day, transformed that boy. He was transformed from being depressed and despondent into a responsive bright young man. And even though his spark of life would soon leave him, it got brighter and brighter not dimmer. — The boy died, but his life had been forever changed. It had been transformed by the ministry of these caring Christians. They had allowed the light of Christ to shine through them. And a young boy’s life had been transformed.
As Christians we are all called to use the light of each day to see with the eyes of faith which lead to love and God.And thatis to be transfigured into Christ.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta shows us a way to transfiguration and glory here and now: “Into each of our lives Jesus comes as the bread of life --to be eaten, to be consumed by us.This is how he loves us.Then Jesus comes in our human life as the hungry one, the other;hoping to be fed with the bread of our life, our hearts loving, and our hands serving.
In loving and serving, we prove that we have been created in the likeness of God, for God is love and when we love, we are like God.
This is what Jesus meant when he said, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
If we live this out in our lives here and now, we can begin the process of being transfigured which will be completed in our new life with God in heaven.With his transfiguration, Jesus saw how to carry out his plan through the cross with the support of Moses and Elijah, and the blessing of his Father who called Jesus his chosen Son, whom people should listen to.Are we listening?Today is the day we rededicate ourselves to the transformation Jesus offers us.