Eternity's Bright Vision
and reflection on the transfiguration of Christ
Flashes of GloryAnd he was transfigured before them,
Jesus’ mysterious transfiguration took place shortly after Peter’s profession of faith and Jesus’ first prophecy of his death. Jesus went up to a high mountain to pray and took his three closest friends with him. (Luke 9:18-36)
Did Jesus allow Peter, James, and John to glimpse his glory so that they would be able to bear the adversities and dark times to come with greater fortitude? “The great reason for this transfiguration,” St. Leo the Great suggested, “was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of his disciples, and to prevent the humiliation of his voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed” (Sermon 51).
Surely the memory of those moments with Jesus on the mountain must have comforted the bewildered apostles as they grieved after Jesus’ death – and later strengthened them as they passed through other difficult moments in their lives.Years afterward, Peter still vividly recalled this profound experience, writing to his fellow Christians, “We were eyewitnesses of his majesty …for we were with him on the holy mountain” (2 Peter 1:16-18).
Peter, James, and John were weary after the long ascent up the mountain. In spite of their fatigue, they “kept awake” as Jesus prayed – and were blessed to see his transfiguration (Luke 9:32). We too must struggle against falling spiritually “asleep” so we don’t miss those “flashes of God’s glory,” as author Louise Perrotta calls them, which shine “into our ordinary surroundings.” While they may not be as spectacular as Jesus’ radiance on the mountain, they are “little transfigurations that God offers to anyone who is ‘fully awake’ to their transforming potential” (2004: A Book of Grace-Filled Days, Loyala Press).
[Jeanne Kun is a noted author
and a senior woman leader in the Word
of Life Community, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. This poem and reflection
are excerpted from Jeanne's book, God’s Promises Fulfilled, 2006,
published by The Word Among Us Press. This book can be purchased from The
Word Among Us. "Eternity's Bright Vision" Copyright 2006 by Jeanne
Kun. Used with permission.]
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