40th Anniversary: Remembering, Transforming and Recommitting
Thinking about what I would share with you, I considered a few options. I settled on the observance of the feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus. I suppose that many of us, myself included, have a difficult time seeing what difference this event in the life of Jesus makes in my life. It is a nice story, and for many of us that is where our thinking ends. In the time of the apostles, this mystery of our faith was meant to help them understand more clearly who Jesus was. Peter, James, and John were deeply moved to be invited to go aside with Jesus. Being present at Jesus’ revelation and the confirmation of his divinity humbled them. It transfigured them, deepening their faith, planting the seeds of courage and hope needed for proclamation of the gospel.
The Transfiguration of Jesus gives me hope that I, too, can be transfigured. Using the apostles as my example of the meaning of transfiguration it is easy to see it as an incremental process. The apostles and Mary Magdalene grew in their likeness to Christ during the three years they spent with him. After his resurrection their preaching of the gospel gradually moved them toward their final transfiguration and new life with HIM. When Jesus returned to the Father, the Spirit accompanied and enlivened them. What does being transfigured by Jesus mean to me? It means to become the likeness of Jesus.
How do I become transfigured, grow in the likeness to Jesus? I do this by attempting to remember each morning to welcome Jesus into my life.
With Jesus and His Spirit guiding me during the day and into the weeks, I try to be as open as possible to this gift of growth into Christ’s likeness. I realize that I will fail often given my human nature, but I am consoled by the incremental nature of this growth.
My prayer for myself and for those reading this reflection and may be inspired by it, is that we can say with St. Paul: “ I have finished the race I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy, verse 7)