The Transfiguration


Sunday Reflection


14th February 2021

...Then all of a sudden...

"his appearance changed
  and his clothing became
  shining white."

.....Mark 9:3

This Sunday the Church
celebrates the feast
of the Transfiguration
and the Gospel tells the story
of the Transfiguration
taken from Mark's Gospel.

Jesus takes his "inner circle"
of disciples, Peter,
James and John, up on
a mountain top by themselves.

"his appearance changed
and his clothing became
shining white."
Then all of a sudden,
Elijah and Moses appear and
begin a conversation with Jesus.

Then Peter, being so impressed
with all the going on, says
"Master, it is so good for us
to be here"
and asks if he could construct
three dwellings,
one for Jesus and one
for Moses and Elijah.

After this a big cloud appears
and a voice says

"This is my Son,
  my Chosen;
  listen to Him"

then they all looked around
and everyone but Jesus
had disappeared.
And then they went down
the mountain,
and told no one about
what had taken place.

Now what in the world are we
modern people supposed to
make of all this?

A trip to the mountains,
dazzling attire,
heavenly visitors,
drowsy disciples,
voices from the clouds
and a proposed construction plan?

It almost sounds like a scene
from a Stephen Spielberg extravaganza.

Yet deep within these strange
goings-on are deep spiritual
truths that can speak to
modern people in our modern world.
First, we have the location,
a mountain top,
a place where ancient people
traditionally gathered to pray.

People used to gather on
mountain tops because they felt
the higher up they were
from the ground,
the closer they would be to God.
We do not have to pack our bags
and move to the Pennines,
Snowdonia or Cumbria
in order to pray,
but what we can learn from the
story is that we need to come to
"higher ground" to pray,
and for some of us,
our weekly Sunday liturgy
is our "higher ground."

We all have had mountaintop
experiences where we've felt like
we were on top of the world.

Perhaps you had a mountaintop
experience when your child was born,
when you were married,
or when you received a
special blessing or
healing from God.

Maybe your mountaintop
experience occurred as you just
sat quietly in prayer with God,
maybe you remember an experience
in your life when God brought you
to the mountain top and you felt
God was so close to you that you
could just reach out and touch his hand.

I think the glory of God is all
around us and available to us;
but sometimes we
just don't look for it,
or maybe we've honestly
forgotten how to look,
or maybe we expect to see it
directly as Peter did.

But however it happens
we won't see it in full
until we die.
Until that day we can
only get sneak previews -
breaks from the madness
of the world,
much like Peter,
James, and John experienced
on a mountain 2000 years ago.

But of this I am sure;
God is present here among us,
in his Word,
in the sacramental bread of life
and cup of salvation,
and in us, his holy people
(part of sacramental prayer is
'Gods holy gifts for
God's holy people').

God is present with us as our courage,
our source of power and our might,
and God will empower us to go out
into the world and point
others to God's most
brilliant light.

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'For the beauty of the earth'
John Rutter
sung by vocalartsmilwaukee
via the link shown below.