A reading from the gospel according to Luke 9:28B-36:
28B Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray.
29 While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.
30 And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,
31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
32 Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
33 As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying.
34 While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
36 After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.
Points for Reflection: Transfiguration
1. Previously, Jesus goes up to a mountain all by Himself to pray but in the Transfiguration story, He took with Him three of His apostles. Prior to this event, Jesus announces His impending suffering and death and the apostles particularly Peter got confused and even tried to disagree with Him. The Transfiguration event therefore was an experience to reassure them of Jesus’ divinity.
2. Going up to a high mountain to meet the divine is not something new to the Transfiguration story. In the Old Testament, God met Moses on Mount Sinai and Elijah on Mount Horeb. According to tradition, the Transfiguration event happened on Mount Tabor.
3. Prayer is the key to understanding the Transfiguration event. We encounter God in prayer and there is no proper place to pray except in a place where there is silence, a place away from the crowd. Praying is not always asking God for something but more importantly, being with Him.
4. Jesus being with Moses and Elijah is a manifestation that He is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Remember that Moses was the law-giver and Elijah as the greatest prophet.
5. The apostles were frightened when they were enveloped by the cloud. This is what happen when someone encounters the divine – a feeling that one is so small and unworthy before someone who is so great and mighty.
6. In the Transfiguration event, the voice of God the Father was heard for the second time. The first time was during the baptism of Jesus. The Father reiterated that Jesus was His chosen Son and then added a command: listen to Him. This is an assurance to the apostles so that they will not doubt about who Jesus is and that they should all the more keep faith in Him by listening to Him.
For further reflection, go here.