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          At the Transfiguration, Jesus’ body, face, and clothes shone with a brilliant light coming from inside him. It is not a sign that Jesus became God. No, he was true God from true God even in the womb of Mary. But he kept his divine nature hidden. The divine light was already there, but at the proper time, he let it shine through his human body, so that the disciples may not lose faith during the agony and the passion that were to come soon. He let Peter, James, and John see His glory, a glory that would be also theirs, and ours, in the world of the Resurrection.



          Indeed, what is true about Jesus will be true for you and me, if we follow the path of Jesus. St. Paul alludes to that when he wrote in Romans 2:2, “Do not conform yourself to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” The Greek word used by Paul here that was translated as “transformed” is the word “metamorphosed”; the same word that was translated as “transfigured” in the Gospel of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2). In other words, we too, are called to be transfigured in heaven. Indeed, Jesus himself said that after the final judgment at the end of the age, “the just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of the Father.” (Matthew 13:43)

          But this transfiguration will come through in two phases. In this life, it will be started inside us and be visible only to those who have “eyes to see”. As we listen to Christ, as we look at him, as we linger with him, a transformation occurs. And the beauty that is his becomes ours (Eugene H. Peterson in The Message Study Bible page 1515). This doesn’t mean that we will materially shine in this life the way Jesus shone in the Transfiguration. But it means that our inner self will be transformed, and this, in turn, will manifest itself in a new way of living. What we choose to do, to have, and to  e will become very different compared to the ways of the world. Yet for some saints who were united with Christ and molded by him, a real light would occasionally shine from their faces or hands. Several people saw the light around Padre Pio’s hands, as he held the consecrated Host during Mass.

          Finally, the Apostle John confirms all these when he wrote in his first letter (1 John 3:2): “Beloved, we are God’s children now, but what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it will be revealed, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” What had been inside will become visible.

          The way to that beauty is to follow Jesus as he went down the Mountain of the Transfiguration with his disciples and resume his difficult but beautiful journey towards his Passion and Resurrection!


                                                            God bless you,

                                                            Fr. Pierre