Thursday, August 06, 2009
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Dn 7:9-10, 13-14
2 Pt 1:16-19
About 25 years ago there was a documentary series on television called The Day the Universe Changed. Science historian James Burke would take an event in history, an event that seemingly was somewhat innocuous, and show how that event or idea or discovery changed the way we see the universe. These events were transformational events, because we were never the same after they occurred. They did indeed change the universe. These transformational events aren’t just great historic things, they also occur in our own lives. The day you become a parent, the world changes, you change. You will never see the universe the same way again. You have been transformed forever.
Jesus takes Peter James and John to the mountaintop. They have no idea why they are there, but for them the universe is about to change. Before their eyes Jesus changes, he is transfigured, he becomes so bright they can’t even look at him. They fall to the ground in terror. Then Moses and Elijah appear and speak to the transfigured Christ. Peter, James and John are terrified, they don’t understand what is happening or what they are seeing. They look up and everything is back to normal. But how can they ever see Jesus the same way again? Something happened, and because of it their universe is changed. As the undoubtedly confused disciples walk away with Jesus he tells them to keep this to themselves, tell no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead. What does that mean? Only later, after witnessing the events of the Passion, death and resurrection of Christ do they realize what they saw. Only later do they realize they have been witness to the glory of God. Like the events described by James Burke, only later did they realize the universe-altering event they witnessed. We have the opportunity to participate in this universe-altering event. Through the Sacraments, through particularly the Eucharist, we have the opportunity to see the glory of God. We have the chance to share in that glory. We can be transformed. When we receive Christ, how can we ever be the same again? We are changed. When we receive Christ, when we accept Christ, the universe is changed.
The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Aug. 6, 2009