Jeudi 26 mai 2016

Transfiguration of the Lord, year ’C’ Transfiguration du Seigneur, année ’C

« Whilst Jesus was praying, the aspect of his face changed and his clothes became shining white ».

Dn.7,9-14 Ps.9- 2 P.1 16-19 Lk.9,28-36

Transfiguration of the Lord, year ’C’

« About a week after speaking these words, Jesus took Peter, James and John onto a mountain to pray. Whilst he was praying, his countenance changed and his clothes became shining white. And there appeared two men in glory conversing with him : one was Moses and the other Elijah. They were talking about his departure that was going to take place in Jerusalem. »

The Word of God draws a countenance of Jesus for us which in the Word is never quite the same.

The Word offers us images that are fuzzy and are then distinguished and clear. The image that has fascinated Jesus’ friends is his sorrowful face. When in front of this condemned, crucified, dying face of Jesus, we can only stop and contemplate it if we love Him. Already Isaiah describes the suffering servant as a man of sorrows, despised, abandoned by men, in front of whom one turns his gaze !

The text of the Transfiguration manifests the importance of this context with the words telling us that ’about a week after these words’. What exactly are ’these words’ ? : « The Son of Man was going to have to suffer greatly, be rejected by the elders, the High priests and the scribes, be killed »

In his prayer, Jesus offers everything to the Father.He brought with him his chosen disciples : Peter, James and John who will also be with him in his agony.

"As Jesus prayed, the aspect of his face changed and his clothes became shining white. Then the Father intervened ’This is my Beloved Son whom I have chosen, listen to Him.’

The mystery of Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection is going to unfurl before our very eyes.

« Peter and his companions were overcome with sleep ; but waking up, they saw God’s Glory, and two men sitting next to Jesus. The two men disappeared and Peter said to Jesus : ’Master, how good it is that we be here !

Let us erect three tents : one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He didn’t know what he was saying.

Peter hadn’t finished what he wanted to say, when a cloud appeared and covered them with its shadow ; they were filled with awe when they went into it. And from the cloud they heard a voice : ’This is my beloved Son, listen to Him. »

Nothing disposes us to guess the Glory of God in Jesus which for an instant transfigures his Face.

We know for ourselves by experience what this drowsiness of Peter and the others can be like : drowsiness of our faith, the lulling of our hope that quickly dies down from a flame and becomes weary. Then there is this dullness of our fraternal love…

In Jesus’ Passion, Love alone is a Splendour. Everything else is violence, hatred and betrayal. If the Face of Jesus is so noble, so attractive for us believers, especially at moments of anguish and suffering, this is because it tells us of a murmuring love that went right to the end, a love that had known how to cross death.

« When the voice had clamoured, only Jesus could be seen. The disciples held on to their silence and said nothing to anyone about what they had seen. »

The disciples saw Jesus’ Face transfigured through prayer. Nothing prepared them for this revelation, for this unexpected revelation of the mystery of Jesus, Son of God !

Whereas Jesus is approaching the perspective of his Passion and that of his disciples with Him, the Father transfigures Jesus before them !

Sleep creeps up on us, but it is the Glory of God which keeps us awake in our faith.

Our life is hidden from our sight, it lies in God ,with Christ Jesus. By enlightening the face of the Risen Lord with his own Light, God our Father is already transfiguring us.

The disciples will hold onto their silence, telling no one about what they saw. They had caught a glimpse of something of Jesus’ mystery, but are incapable of speaking about it. Indeed, it will be at Jesus’ Resurrection when everything will be manifested in a public way.

We ask for the grace to live in our daily life from the mystery of the disfiguration and the Glorification of Jesus.