The Transfiguration Gives Us Hope
2nd Sunday of Lent
March 17, 2019
The account of Jesus' transfiguration in this Sunday's gospel (Luke 9:28-36) gives us a window into another world – both the world that Christ comes from and the world that we are journeying toward, the extraordinary world of the future that is, in fact, our true home. How very strange and wonderful this world of light must have seemed to the disciples. It would have been quite startling to see Jesus transfigured into a being of light. For the first time, the disciples are seeing the Son of God much as he truly is. The message is clear: the sufferings of this life cannot compare to the glory that is to come.
The voice of the Father reminds us that heaven is a place where we will see and hear God face to face. Moses and Elijah also appear. Their presence also helps us to grasp that we will have fellowship with all other human beings of every time and place who have freely chosen God. It is certainly something to look forward to.
There is an old truism that states we cannot arrive at the correct destination if we don’t know where we are going. Life consists of a series of choices that will determine our final destination and rank once we have arrived there. Seen in this light, every moment of our earthly existence takes on a heightened importance. The Transfiguration is a revelation of the truth of God’s existence and of the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ.
St. Theresa of Lisieux once said that, in everything we do, every circumstance, every suffering, every joy, "Let us keep our eyes fixed on heaven, the one true object of our labors." Our goal should always be to get to heaven one day. Life certainly takes on a much greater meaning and clarity when we realize that everything we go through on earth, especially suffering, is ultimately geared toward our happiness in the life to come, no matter how grim it may look at times. We know this through the example of Jesus’ own life, death and resurrection.
Jesus led three of his disciples up Mount Tabor to pray. Whoever they may have thought Jesus was up to this point, they certainly had a different opinion when they came back. Jesus knew that the disciples would suffer intensely in the future, so he gave them hope by showing them where their lives and future ministry were heading. Our Lord wants to give us hope so that during the darker times of our lives, we will remain confident in his guidance.