“Experiencing ‘Transfiguration moments’ in order to take us through, strongly, in our moments of darkness!”
(Based on Gen 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, Rom 8:31b-34 and Mk 9:2-10 – 2nd Sunday of Lent, Year B)
There is a little story told of a person who went abroad on a trip.
Wishing to buy his wife a gift, he purchased a phosphorescent, ‘mother-of-pearl’ match-box container.
(‘Mother-of-pearl’ is the common name for sparkling nacre, a blend of minerals that are secreted by oysters and deposited inside their shells, coating and protecting them from foreign objects; these eventually become pearls)
The beauty of this gift was that in the dark it was said to radiate a wonderful light.
The man packed it in his trunk, took it home and after the family-dinner, asked for the lights to be put out.
In the dark, he took the match-box container from his pocket to present it to his wife.
But, when he looked at it, it was as black as the darkness around.
Frustrated, he said, “That is just the way foreigners are often treated! I have been cheated!”
Next day, however, his wife, a bit curious, discovered on the box, a few words in French.
She took it down to some friends who had a French maid and had it translated.
That night, in the darkness, that box was all aglow, for she had followed the instructions written on the box, which said:
‘If you keep me all day long in the sunlight,
I will shine for you all night long, in the darkness’
The greater one is in the light, the greater would be one’s glow in the dark!
… because a glow in the dark is assured for that which has the capacity to infuse light within itself!
Light emerges from the depths of holiness… to shine clearly even in the dark…
This is Transfiguration!
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are invited to have this Transfiguration Experience, in imitation of our Blessed Lord.
On this Second Sunday of Lent, we are presented with the event of the Transfiguration of our Lord, as recounted by St Mark.
The scene of the Transfiguration is a visually powerful and an authoritatively impactful incident.
Jesus takes three disciples – the core team among the Twelve – Peter, James and John – and led them up a high mountain. (Mk 9: 2)
There He was – His appearance changing and seen to be with Great Glory!
One of the easy tendencies in life is to “get used to”…
Get used to doing the same works and dealing with the same people.
A tendency of “monotony” creeps in
A feeling of “boredom” crawls in!
The danger with “monotony” is that…
… it can drain away enthusiasm from the works one does
This danger of “monotony” is a strong possibility even in our spiritual life.
We begin to take our faith for granted
We tend to view our devotions with casualness.
Prayers get boring.
The Holy Eucharist seems meaningless
Pious practices fails to generate any passion
The same danger was true even in the case of the Disciples.
The disciples had been with Jesus for a while now…
They had seen Him…
… performing many wonders
… teaching and addressing the crowds
… being the subject of many oppositions too
But slowly, as human tendency is – a feel of monotony would have begun to creep into their lives.
It is at this stage, that our Blessed Lord chooses three of His “core” disciples – Peter, James and John, and in their presence gets Transfigured! (Mk 9: 2-10)
The Transfiguration experience was something very special and unique for these disciples…
They saw our Blessed Lord glisteningly shining – His clothes being whiter “as no fuller on earth could bleach” (Mk 9:3)
They witnessed Moses and Elijah (Mk 9:4) – the great Lawgiver and the mighty Prophet – along with Jesus, Who was the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophet!
They heard the Divine Voice – “This is My Beloved Son; listen to Him” (Mk 9: 7b) – from the cloud; reminiscent of God Yahweh who would speak to His people of old, from the clouds
The three disciples were being introduced to a new perspective of their Master.
They saw Jesus – not in the usual way – but arrayed in His Divine Glory and Honour!
Jesus had not become something that He was not…
He was always God and was always the Second Person of the Divine Trinity.
All this while, the eyes of the disciples were kept away from seeing the fullness of glory – only sparks of Divinity was revealed to them
But now, here was a moment, though short – the Transfiguration – when the chosen disciples could come face-to-face with Divine Glory!
The moment of Transfiguration had made them see things in a new light…
Jesus was still the same – but they now saw Him, for a short moment, with a Glorious Glow
That is the splendour and glory of the moment of Transfiguration…
… when wounds are refined into beauty
… when sufferings are graced into meaningfulness
Have we had this Transfiguration Experience?
Surely, we have had…
But perhaps, many of us fail to recognise it… or acknowledge it
… when our words have touched and sparkled a sad soul
… when we ourselves have been healed in our brokenness by some Divine intervention
… when we experienced the light of God’s healing, restoration, forgiveness etc through the Sacraments of the Church
… when a pulse of joy and satisfaction raced through our veins in having rendered, perhaps, a tiny but significant act of service and care to a needy person
… when, in our brokenness or deep pain or lethargy, an encouraging word revived our bent spirits
Many are such moments of Transfiguration in our life…
But the more we look deeper, the more we find, that God has blessed us immensely with such “Transfiguration” experiences.
And He wishes that through Prayer, we grow in Him to have deeper “Transfiguration Experiences!”
It is these “Transfiguration” moments that will take us through, strongly, in our moments of darkness.
The light of Transfiguration on Mount Tabor helped to shine through during the darkness of Crucifixion on Mount Calvary for Jesus!
The greater one is in the light of the Transfiguration, the greater would be one’s glow in the dark phases of life!
May this Gospel of the Transfiguration help us to be reminded of the promise of the Lord that:
“If you keep yourself, all day long in the sunlight of My Love,
I will shine for you all night long, in the darkness of your life”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH
To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to “hear or listen to”) in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself.
Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture.
The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.
Abraham fulfils the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”
Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Because he was “strong in his faith”, Abraham became the “father of all who believe” (CCC # 144-146)