TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD FEAST - 6th AUGUST 2017
First Reading: Daniel 7: 9-10, 13-14
9 I beheld till thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days sat: his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like clean wool: his throne like flames of fire: the wheels of it like a burning fire.
10 A swift stream of fire issued forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before him: the judgment sat, and the books were opened.
13 I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came even to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him.
14 And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 97: 1-2, 5-6, 9
The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
1 For the same David, when his land was restored again to him. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad.
2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: justice and judgment are the establishment of his throne.
5 The mountains melted like wax, at the presence of the Lord: at the presence of the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens declared his justice: and all people saw his glory.
9 For thou art the most high Lord over all the earth: thou art exalted exceedingly above all gods.
Second Reading: Second Peter 1: 16-19
16 For we have not by following artificial fables, made known to you the power, and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were eyewitnesses of his greatness.
17 For he received from God the Father, honour and glory: this voice coming down to him from the excellent glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
18 And this voice we heard brought from heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19 And we have the more firm prophetical word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
The Word of the Lord.
Gospel: Matthew 17: 1-9
Listen to my beloved Son
1 And after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart:
2 And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow.
3 And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him.
4 And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
5 And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.
6 And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid.
7 And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them, Arise, and fear not.
8 And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus.
9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Meditation: Are you prepared to see the glory of the Lord and to share in his glory as well? The Lord Jesus is eager to share his glory with us! We get a glimpse of this when some of the disciples see Jesus transfigured in glory on a high mountain. [In many churches of the east and west this event is celebrated as a major feast on August 6.] Jesus often went to a lonely place to pray - to seek solitude and sanctuary away from the crowds. But on this occasion, Jesus' face became radiant like the sun and his clothing became dazzling white (Matthew 17: 2 and Luke 9:29).
Jesus on three occasions told his disciples that he would undergo suffering and death on a cross to fulfill the mission the Father gave him. As the time draws near for Jesus' ultimate sacrifice on the cross, he takes three of his beloved disciples to the top of a high mountain. Just as Moses and Elijah were led to the mountain of God to discern their ultimate call and mission, so Jesus now appears with Moses and Elijah on the highest mountain overlooking the summit of the promised land. Matthew's Gospel tells us that Jesus was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light (Matthew 17:2).
Why did Jesus appear in dazzling light with Moses and Elijah? The book of Exodus tells us that when Moses had met with God on Mount Sinai the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God(Exodus 34:29). Paul the Apostle wrote that the Israelites could not look at Moses' face because of its brightness (2 Corinthians 3:7). After Elijah, the greatest of the prophets, had destroyed all the priests and idols of Baal in the land, he took refuge on the mountain of God at Sinai. There God showed Elijah his glory in great thunder, whirlwind, and fire, and then spoke with him in a still quiet voice. God questioned Elijah, "What are you doing here?" And then directed him to go and fulfill the mission given him by God. Jesus, likewise, appears in glory with Moses and Elijah, as if to confirm with them that he, too, is ready to fulfill the mission which the Father has sent him to accomplish.
The Lord Jesus not only wants us to see his glory - he wants to share this glory with us. And Jesus shows us the way to the Father's glory - follow me - obey my words. Take the path I have chosen for you and you will receive the blessing of my Father's kingdom - your name, too, will be written in heaven. Jesus fulfilled his mission on Calvary where he died for our sins so that Paradise and everlasting life would be restored to us. He embraced the cross to win a crown of glory - a crown that awaits each one of us, if we, too, will follow in his footsteps.
Are you spiritually awake? Peter, James, and John were privileged witnesses of the glory of Christ. We, too, as disciples of Jesus Christ are called to be witnesses of his glory. 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 (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Lord wants to reveal his glory to us, his beloved disciples. Do you seek his presence with faith and reverence?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, keep me always alert to you, to your word, your action, and your constant presence in my life. Let me see your glory." Amen
Jesus reveals his glory to the apostles and to us.