Esmey Herscovitch RSCJ reflects on the transfiguration, and sees in it three invitations for us. How might we accept them?
Surprisingly today the gospel reading (Luke 9:28-36) tells the story of the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain, a contrast to the story of last week, that of the temptations of Jesus in the desert. The transfiguration was a moment of consolation and affirmation for Jesus in contrast to the desert experience with its moments of desolation and temptation.
Jesus is said to have appeared in glory – he was radiant; perhaps thinking of newlyweds or a mother with a new baby may give us an inkling of radiance; perhaps also the wonders of creation such as a sunrise and the wonder of the night sky. I think we are being called to a recognition of the presence of God in our experience, our lives, our world whether those moments could be described as consoling or radiant or just seemingly very ordinary. The cloud in the reading is a symbol of the presence of God, but the moment of glory by then had passed. Not every sunrise is glorious.
I see invitations to us in these moments:
- to know and believe that we too are beloved sons and daughters chosen, sent on God’s mission,
- to receive with joy but not cling to moments that are special,
- to accept the cloud i.e. to believe in the value of the daily, ordinary, perhaps humdrum experiences that are the stuff of our lives; it was in the cloud that the apostles heard the words “This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him”. We are called to listen for the heartbeat of God in the ordinariness of our lives and in the words that we hear in the scriptures.