Feast of Transfiguration of the Lord
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
2 Peter 1:16-19
Matthew 17: 1-9
Life can only be understood backwards … but it must be lived forwards. (Kierkegaard 1843)
The Feast of the Transfiguration invites us to consider both these aspects of our experience. We look to Jesus, to help us understand all sorts of questions and situations in life. However, let us not look for Him only in memory … He wants us to experience and to find Him in presence.
‘Transfiguration’ experiences are still all around us. People can have transient though no less significant experiences of transforming insights of Divine Presence in a breath taking scene from nature, NASSA photos of the birth of a new star, a human response in self or others that goes beyond our known or expected capacities, religious, social or political situations that witness to life giving possibilities rather than destruction.
In Matthew, Peter, James and John were stunned by their experience on the mountain. It took the touch of Jesus to relieve them of their fear and bring them down the mountain to continue to follow Jesus. The imagery of Daniel indicates that much happens on levels that we cannot understand in the moment. 2 Peter supports these same themes, proclaiming that understanding comes with hindsight however personal transformation of heart is present and ongoing.
We carry such transforming promise within us. However, most days, we may only see things as usual as the disciples afterwards ‘saw only Jesus’. As their transfiguration experience faded, things slowly changed for them as they followed Jesus. And so it is for us … We all carry within us the inner light and presence of the Divine in the surety of the promise ‘I will always be with you’. How do we continue to be present to this transforming insight so that it touches our heart and changes how we see and act in our lives and our world every day?
Pam Storey is a member of the Passionist Faith Community at Holy Cross, Templestowe, and one of the founding members of Passionist Companions. After a very active and varied family, church and working life, Pam is now focusing on developing a slow spirituality.