“And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.”
Jesus was transformed before Peter, James, and John’s eyes. Understandably, they were confused, a posture the disciples assume quite often. They go up to this mountain with Jesus and all of the sudden he is transformed into dazzling white with Elijah and Moses at his side. As if this wasn’t strange enough, a voice echoing the voice at Jesus’ baptism is heard saying, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”
In the moments on the mountain, Jesus is transformed and the chosen disciples get a momentary glimpse at the fullness of God. Of course, they were afraid. Of course, they wanted to build shelters and remain there, in those moments surrounded by their leader and the prophets Elijah and Moses. Jesus was transformed before their eyes and as a result, they were transformed. An experience like that changes you. Peter, James, and John represent us. Their response to the transfiguration is emblematic of our inability to understand transformative moments. Jesus showed himself in full grandeur, transformed from the lowly servant to the exalted Son of God.
What could this mountain-top moment say to us during our Lenten journey? Before this moment, Peter, James, and John were unaware and naive about the person of Christ. They had gotten used to the ordinary-ness of Jesus among them that they lost sight of his power, grandeur, and the fullness of God. They were missing what was before their very eyes. It took this moment of transfiguration for them to finally recognize a little more fully who this Jesus person was. During our Lenten journey, it is important to reflect on whether we are missing God before our very eyes. Is God among us and are we just missing it? If the transfiguration happened in your life, where would God be revealed? How can you become more aware of God’s presence among you?
God, you are full of grandeur and greatness. You dazzle us day in and day out with your love and grace that sustains us. Forgive us for the times that we overlook your greatness. Forgive us for letting our hearts and minds get used to you among us and missing your fullness as a result. Open our eyes. Open our hearts. Open our minds to your transformation in our midst. Amen.