Fr. Bloomfield's Blog

I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently assigned to Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, Michigan. When I manage to keep the page updated, hopefully something interesting can be found here!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Reflection on the Transfiguration

I said last night's Vigil Mass at 4:30 pm. Unfortunately, after preaching the homily, it didn't seem quite as coherent as I had intended. Here's another try:

Today's feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord teaches us two clear items: first, about our Lord; the other, about ourselves.

First of all, the amazement of the three chosen Apostles, Peter, James, and John, and the mysterious heavenly voice give us a clear indication that Jesus is utterly unique. In fact, this lesson is an important one to learn: Jesus is the Only Son of the Father, made a man by the power of the Holy Spirit, and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit. His Glory is the Glory of the Blessed Trinity -- of God Himself. The presence of Elijah and Moses show us the fulfilment of the Prophets and the Law in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus, therefore, is so much more than a mere man; He is the center and culmination of all history. Everything in heaven and earth is summed up in him. This miraculous appearance of dazzlingly white clothing, teaching from a mountain, with the glory and splendor of God Himself places in humble awe before Jesus.

The vision also teaches us something about ourselves, particularly through the witness of these three Apostles. They seem to miss the point, much as we might as well. Even though this experience was intended to strengthen these men for Jesus' suffering and death, they wander down the mountain wondering "What it means to rise from the dead."

And about six weeks later, these same men fall asleep when confronted with the depths of Jesus' humanity on the Mount of Olives. Peter denies our Lord; James and John flee in fear; only John returns to be at the foot of the Cross.

Not until after the Resurrection -- when they are allowed to tell the story -- does the story really make any sense to them; and this is where we learn the lesson about ourselves. The glory witnessed by the Apostles today isn't only Jesus' glory. We can say that again: the glory isn't only for Jesus. That glory is ours as well, as members of His body, and co-heirs to His Kingdom.

Each of us is destined for the same result: glorious appearance, dazzling clothes, illuminated faces, and life with the Father. Why? Because Christ has gained this victory for us by His own suffering and death, on another mountain -- the Mountain of Calvary. So as we see the depths of His humanity, broken and bloodied on the Cross, we know the glory that is His from all time: the Glory of the Father.

And as the first reading today gives us an example, we enter into this glory at every Mass. When we encounter our Lord today in the Eucharist, may it tranfigure our lives now, and prepare us and strengthen us for our own share in Christ's passion and death -- so that we too might share in our Lord's glory for all eternity.