THE TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS
(A biblical reflection on the FEAST OF TRANSFIGURATION – Friday, 6 August 2021)
Gospel Reading: Mark 9:2-10
First Reading: Daniel 7:9-10,13-14 (or 2Peter 1:16-19; Psalms: Psalm 97:1-2,5-6,9
The Scripture Text
And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them, and His garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for theyu were exceedingly afraid. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is My beloved Son; listen to Him.” And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only.
And as they were coming down the mountain, He charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant. (Mark 9:2-10)
When Jesus was transfigured before the three apostles/disciples, His appearance changed and His clothes became dazzling white. The light did not shine upon Him from the outside but out of Him, from within. For a moment, Jesus took on the appearance He was to have for all eternity, after His ascension, when He would sit at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus knew that His mission was to suffer and die for the sins of humanity. He had spoken of this just before the transfiguration: “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31). After they had descended from the mountain, He reaffirmed what was going to happen to Him: “It is written of the Son of man, that He should suffer many things and be treated with contempt” (Mark 9:12).
The transfiguration on the mountain was a preparation of the disciples for what was to come as the beloved Son endured His passion and death in obedience to the Father. His transfiguration was intimately linked to His mission as the chosen one sent by the Father to redeem His people.
We are charged by the Father to listen to His Son: “This is My beloved Son; listen to Him” (Mark 9:7). As we listen to Jesus, we too will be transfigured; even our appearance will be changed as our sins are washed away. Our transfiguration will be completed at the last judgment as we are reunited with Jesus in body and soul. “We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (1Corinthians 15:52).
The promise begins in this life. We can be transfigured today, even now, because – through the death and resurrection of Jesus – sin, Satan, and the world have been conquered. The power is ours if we will turn to Jesus and accept Him and what He wants to do in our lives. Let us trust in the promise of scripture: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2Corinthians 3:18).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You revealed the true radiance of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in the glory of His transfiguration. May the food we receive from heaven change us into His image. Amen.
Jakarta, 5 August 2021
A Christian Pilgrim