REFLECTION | Jesus is transfigured: ‘Listen to the voice of the Lord’

Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa.

Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa.

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply: “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.“

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud came and a voice said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
—Matthew 17: 1-9

After Jesus’ transfiguration on Mount Thabor, his  public ministry began. Jesus’ transfiguration is the affirmation from his Father that he is the  “anointed,” the long awaited messiah. The gospel account described to us what happened as Jesus went up the mountain and led his disciples Peter, James and John to rest and pray.

And suddenly, something strange happened as the three disciples witnessed how Jesus changed and transfigured, he turned to a dazzling light with his face like the sun and his clothes became as white as light. They were shocked and did not know what was happening. Then there appeared two important figures of their faith, their ancestors whom God had favored. Moses the Patriarch is one of the pillars of their faith as a people as he led them out from slavery in Egypt, their famous Exodus to freedom. Moses comes from their Father Abraham who represented the Torah (the Law).

The other important figures is God’s beloved Elijah, a great prophet who represented the chosen messengers of the one true God, the prophets were pillars of Judaism  and of the Jewish people that until now they wait for Elijah’s return.  In his transfiguration, Jesus was confirmed by his Father in heaven and  affirmed  by the two great figures of their faith, our faith—Moses and Elijah. God our Father had confirmed Jesus thru a voice from the heavens declaring that He is the beloved son whom God is well pleased, and ordered us to listen to Him.

The apostles were overwhelmed, thus, Peter’s immediate reaction was really to enjoy such event. It was great to be there in that experience and Peter offered to make three tents for the three of them—Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. But a voice from a bright cloud was heard saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

Let us listen to the voice of the Lord that unfolds and reveals to us every day, in every event of our daily life.

Let us listen to God in prayer, silence, solitude, and solidarity.  In prayer, we are able to  discern the will of God. Listening means spending moments of reflection and action; and this must be done in full trust and focus. Prayer opens our hearts to God so God can freely live in us. Let us  listen to Him and not to our own or others’ will.

Transfiguration is when we mirror God in our daily living by our faith and good works.  Our good works are manifestations of our love of God and neighbor. Doing good and doing acts of charity are what the will of God tells us today. We can do it small or big time.  All of us are invited to have our own transfiguration and be at ease in Him.

Today, the Lord speaks to us in every situation we are in. God is present in our daily encounters with people, both friends or strangers. He is in every event unfolding before us. Even moments of confusion, doubt, and crisis are also moments of Kairos, a graceful opportunity to seek God and understand His will for us. Keep our hearts and hands open to Him for the voice of God can be found in every person’s stories of struggles, hopes, dreams, and pursuits. Let us read and know the will of God in the signs of our times and in what our faith calls us to do and believe in.

To be pleasing before the Lord, we keep the words of the Father in the transfiguration of His son. In this Lenten season, let us pray, reflect and ask ourselves:

Do I listen to Jesus’ voice?

Do I see and experience the Lord in His Word?

Do I accept and recognize the Word of God in the Scriptures, in the Living Traditions and in the Teachings of the Church?

Do I have a transfiguration experience?

Have I transformed in the love of the Lord?

Almighty and Loving God, you have called us to yourself. You have invited us to be transfigured in your likeness. As we follow you, may we be transformed in you.  Our Lord Jesus, the Patriarch Moses and the Prophet Elijah remind us of our duty as your son and daughter  of God, especially in doing what is right and what is pleasing to you.  May we become sensitive like Peter to the needs of others and be not afraid as what was assured by Jesus to the disciples. Be our strength and light when we also experience our own experience of transfiguration and transformation in love. This we ask through Christ or Lord, who lives and reigns with you, and the Holy Spirit, ne God, forever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray for everyone that may each one will have an experience of  transformation and be enriched and strengthened in the grace of God; likewise, we pray for those who have not heard the Word of God heartily that they may open their hearts and lives to the life- giving and graceful blessings of God.