Once, I officiated a couple’s marriage. The bride was very beautiful; the groom, however, was not up to my standard. I though the girl was a bit short changed by the marriage deal.
During the picture-taking, I congratulated them both. When I came upon the bride I told: “your groom is a very lucky man!” But she countered: “I am much luckier. I’m so much blest because he truly loves me!”
Her replied made me think deeper. I had now a different perspective of them; I saw them in a different light. I had a transfiguration experience. Every time we see things differently; when we are able to view things in a new way and in a different perspective, we experience the transfiguration.
The Sunday Gospel narrates about the Transfiguration of Jesus. Let us consider three things as we return to this episode in Jesus’ life:
First, it was a privilege moment: the three disciples, Peter, James, and John were given a rare chance. They had a glimpse of Jesus’ glory. They experienced heaven; they saw the greatness and immensity of God. It was a pre-view of the divinity of Christ. It was an awesome moment. While others rejected Jesus, this experience made them love Jesus more!
Second, it was a peak experience. They saw Jesus in a different light: no longer as an ordinary Rabbi or a skilled carpenter-turned preacher. They discovered that behind his ordinary trappings, he was hiding an extraordinary persona. He was the Son of God! The Father’s voice was an epiphany of Jesus’ extraordinary character.
Third, this episode taught the disciples that there is a price in following Jesus. Fulfilling God’s will is extremely difficult. Jesus had to learn to be obedient. He had to undergo self-denial, learn to suffer and embrace his cross. Modern society puts value on instant rewards. We have now overnight shipping, instant downloads or one-click ordering. If we have a problem, we want a quick fix. We are short in temper and patience. When we want something, we want it now! But Jesus teaches us to be patient, to delay our gratification for a greater good. We cannot attain success overnight. We have to undergo the daily grind, the slowly process of self denial. Jesus inspires us to undergo our own transfiguration experience.