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A Reflection on the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord By Fr. Isidore Clarke, O.P.

A Reflection on the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord         By Fr. Isidore Clarke, O.P.

Greetings from Fr. Isidore Clarke on the feast of the Lord's Transfiguration!

'Lord, It's Good to be here!'I've often felt like that!Sometimes, when I've been comfortably tucked up in bed and am reluctant to get up –especially early on a cold dark morning.Or, when I've been enjoying a good holiday with my family or close friends.We wish the good times could continue forever.We say to ourselves, 'It's good to be here.Let's stay.'I expect you've felt the same way.

So did three of the apostles, Peter, James and John, when Jesus lead them to the top of what is now known as the Mount of Transfiguration.There they saw Jesus in a new light.(That's why Pope John Paul II included the Transfiguration of the Lord among the five Luminous Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary).

Until then they, like everyone else, had rightly accepted Jesus as an exceptional person, but as human as they were. But on the Mount He revealed to these three that there was something very, very special about Him. They were given a glimpse of His divine majesty and glory! More than that, through His Transfiguration Jesus showed them, and us, a glimpse of how we too were mean to be transformed through sharing in the glory of His resurrection – on condition that we followed Him! Here is yet another way in which the Transfiguration of the Lord is a Luminous Mystery.Through Him we, too, are to become Luminous Mysteries!

The transfigured Lord was accompanied by Elijah, the great prophet and Moses the Law-Giver, who had led God's people from slavery into the Promised Land.Their presence with Christ assured His closest followers that He was, indeed, fulfilling God's promises for His people.In the light of Christ's Transfiguration these Old Testament figures and all they represented were now seen as foreshadowing and sharing His glory. That threw new light on the part the Old Testament past had played in God's plan of salvation. Finally, the Father's voice from heaven gave the supreme endorsement to His Son's mission, "This is my beloved Son, He enjoys my favour,Listen to Him." No wonder Peter exclaimed, 'Lord, it is good to be here!'No wonder he wanted to stay.

And what about us?Hopefully, there will be times when God causes us to sense that He is very close – as when praying is easy and delightful; when we find following Christ fulfilling and reassuring;the Good News really does give us hope, with a sense of direction in our lives.These are very precious moments, when we feel the warmth of God's gift of love.They give us a glimpse of the happiness of heaven.We want such times to last forever.And they will!

But not yet.These blessed moments of peace and tranquillity with God are like an oasis in the desert, or a holiday with friends.They are meant to refresh us so that we can have the strength to move into the rigours of what may seem like a harsh desert.

In his 2nd Letter St. Peter wanted all of us to learn from his experience of the Lord's Transfiguration, he wrote, "For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honour and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased', we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain, (2 Peter 1:16-18).

Already we should radiate something of the glory of God and share something of the luminous mystery of the Transfiguration.As St. Paul tells us, "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit,"(2 Cor. 3.18).

The Transfiguration gives us a glimpse of where Christ is leading us -the happiness and glory of heaven. We must keep our sights set on that. The time for resting eternally in the Lord will only come when we share in His heavenly glory, glimpsed in His Transfiguration.

Happy Feast; God bless you!

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