Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Today we heard about the well-known account on the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ our Lord on the mountain, when He was transformed and assumed His glory, as a premonition of what was to come for Him and for the world. Jesus was revealed to the three disciples, His closest ones, Peter, James and John, to be truly the One whom the Lord has favour with, the One who would save the world and renew it.
In the Transfiguration of Christ, the world is preempted with the rare look into the glory of Christ, before He is truly glorified at His resurrection from the dead. For Christ is the Logos, the Son of God, the Word of God who created everything, who is God and who is with God since the beginning of time and before. And as such, He is God Himself, who came down into this world in the form of human flesh in Jesus. And in Transfiguration, the glorious self that is His was revealed in its fullness for the first time to the world.
And the event of the Transfiguration itself would set the tone for the rest of the mission of Jesus in this world, leading up to His suffering and death on the cross, as the culmination of His divinely appointed mission. First of all, the Transfiguration established firmly without question that Jesus is the Messiah and the Holy One of God, whom the prophets and elders of the people had prophesied for, in many years leading up to His coming.
Moses and Elijah, who appeared to Jesus confirmed this fact, and again showed yet another fact about Christ, that He is to be a Leader and a Prophet, much as Moses and Elijah had done. As what Moses had done, in delivering the people of God from the slavery in Egypt, Jesus would, as the new Leader of all, bring all mankind, all peoples and take them away from their slavery to sin and evil.
And with Elijah, it was shown that Jesus was the culmination of the prophecies of the prophets, and He was the complete fulfillment of the law of God as revealed through the leaders and the prophets. And Jesus came to fulfill and make perfect the law of God, bringing them to the clear understanding by the people of God. Jesus is to lead us to a new life and one that is blessed and filled with the wisdom of God.
The Transfiguration reminds us of the many challenges and responsibilities that Jesus had taken up upon Himself. He brought Himself to be the atonement for the sins of the innumerable, and He made Himself punished so that we will not be punished as we deserve. Jesus on that mountain affirmed His love and dedication to the Lord, and He from then on was prepared to walk down the path towards His Passion, to die on the cross for our sake.
But in all His glory and power, Jesus did not become proud or boastful of what He has. He did not revel in His glory but remained perfectly obedient to the will of God His Father. And that was why, He did not remain there in His Transfiguration for eternity or for a long time, for He left the peak and went down the mountain with His disciples.
How does this relate to us then? If we remember that the disciples of Christ, led by Peter, asked the Lord whether they should pitch up a tent for each Jesus, Moses and Elijah, that they may stay there longer. When someone pitches a tent somewhere, he certainly will want to stay longer in the locality and remain there until the tent was removed.
We are often like Peter, that we are often reluctant to leave our comfort zone and lingered long in areas that gave us the greatest happiness and pleasure. That means, we do not want to go down the mountain, but remain there forever. This is why the Lord kindly reminded them, and all of us, through His words, that we ought to obey Him, and obeying Him means that we have to go down the mountain, and in doing so, face the reality of our lives.
Yes, we have our ups and downs. We certainly cannot always remain as either up or down, because we need to face the reality of this life, that there are often good things that we can enjoy, but there will also be hardships and inequalities, which we have to face eventually. We cannot remain on top of the mountain forever, for doing so means that we indulge in our power and glory.
Jesus willingly went down the mountain, knowing full well that He was heading to His own death, and yet He continued on and obeyed perfectly the will of God. Can we also do the same? Can we also seek to leave our zones of comfort and embrace the will of God as our own? Can we die to our pride and live humbly before God?
The answer to all of these is yes. And indeed, yes, we can, because what matters now is to give of ourselves to the Lord our God. Let us begin from now on, if we have not done so, to dedicate ourselves to the Lord, wholly obedient to the will of God. May He continue to bless us and keep us in His grace. Amen.