Feast of the Transfiguration

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” — John F. Kennedy.

Most of us think of “transfiguration” as something that happened only to Jesus, once upon a time, a long time ago, on a distant mountain in a land far away. Not so fast! It is something that happens to each one of us. God is all about life, and life is all about change.

What Jesus’ Transfiguration tells us is that the steady progression of our own lives will one day result in a transfiguration of our own. We, too, will be “dazzling and radiant” because we believe that life never ends. It simply changes—again and again.

As inviting as this prospect may be, our inner transformation is of infinitely greater consequence. Can we and others see any glimmers of dazzle and radiance within us? Perhaps, not as much as we would like.

Peter, James, and John unquestionably found their own shortcomings reflected in Jesus’ Transfiguration, and yet, their unique experience wasn’t meant to leave them disheartened and dejected; rather, it was a moment chosen by God to show them what a breathtaking, awe-inspiring future that awaited both them and us.

The Transfiguration was a special event in which God allowed certain apostles to have a privileged spiritual experience that was meant to strengthen their faith for the challenges they would later endure. But it was only a temporary event. It was not meant to be permanent.

In the same way, at certain times in this life, God may give certain members of the faithful (not all the faithful, all the time), special experiences of his grace that strengthen their faith.

We should welcome these experiences for the graces they are, but we should not expect them to continue indefinitely, nor should we be afraid or resentful when they cease.

They may have been meant only as momentary glimpses of the joy of heaven to sustain us as we face the challenges of this life, to help strengthen us on the road that will — ultimately — bring us into the infinite and endless joy of heaven.

—Reflection by Fr. Matt Stanley, Pastor