Weekend Reflection for 8/4/17
When Jesus was transfigured the three disciples were in turn amazed, overwhelmed, frightened and probably confused by what had occurred. To compound this Jesus’ only comment is for them not to discuss this with anyone until after he has risen from the dead. How that must’ve left them even more perplexed. I have wondered why why so many places and Scriptures we find this event. My conclusion is that Jesus Transfiguration happened primarily for Jesus’ benefit and not the disciples.
The Transfiguration event is akin to that of Jesus’ baptism. In both instances His Father is confirming and consoling and preparing Jesus for what he is doing and is about to do. At the time of his Transfiguration Jesus is about to journey to Jerusalem where he will suffer his passion and death. This is a time when Jesus most certainly needs confirmation, just as he needed reassurance at his baptism when about to embark upon his public life and preaching.
What does this say to you and me? Recall that St. Paul tells us that Jesus is like us in all things except for sin and these incidents present excellent examples of this. At his baptism Jesus is setting out on a way of life he is almost totally unfamiliar with. No wonder he will spend some time with John and his disciples. With them he will discover how to nurture disciples, how to gather crowds, how to preach to them, how to deal with people react in many different ways, favorable and hostile, to the message that he proclaims. Similarly, going up to Jerusalem, the stronghold of his bitter enemies, some of whom have either tried or vowed to destroy him, demands of Jesus and incredible determination and courage.
And so as Jesus considers this and prays about it, his Father touches him in a most unique way telling him that he is doing the right thing and does this in a manner that confirms for him the incredible outcomes that will result from all of this. What a blessed and wonderful experience the Transfiguration is for Jesus.
Jesus, like us, seeks and needs in the most difficult and mysterious moments of his life his Father’s affirmation and encouragement that He is indeed doing his father’s will. We too need this and we too should seek this.
-Fr. Jim Blumeyer, S.J.