Aug. 6, 2015 Thursday: The Feast of Transfiguration
"The invitation at the Transfiguration, for the disciples as well as for the faithful today, is to listen to Jesus and to follow him, laying down our lives as a gift of love for one another in obedience to the will of the Father." -Pope Francis
Today, we are celebrating the Feast of the Transfiguration. The word ‘transfiguration’ is derived from the Latin word transfigurare for the Greek word metamorphosis which means “change of form and appearance.” Jesus takes Peter, James and John, this special trio within the twelve, up the high mountain of Tabor where the glory of His destiny is revealed to them. It is the glory that belongs to Him as God’s beloved Son. Transfiguration is the foretaste of heaven.
The Transfiguration of Jesus, as one priest said, invites to see the many little transfiguration experiences that we have of daily lives like: changes of nature, gradual opening of a flower, the blooming of trees, transformation of people, the growing of children, the cycle of birth and death, the realization that God is there. Through the eyes of faith we realize that it is a continuous process of seeing not the flower but the blooming, not the people but their talents, not the sun but its rising, not the miracle but God.
Even every time that we are gathering for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist we experience also a moment of transfiguration where our Lord Jesus Christ is transfigured in our very own eyes. The bread and the wine are transfigured and become His Body and Blood as our spiritual food for communion and life in our journey towards eternal life.
I have witnessed people transfigured, not in terms of physical transformation but in terms of spiritual and moral transformation. I have a friend, he is a priest now. Before he entered the seminary, he was a drug addict and a member of a gang. But when he entered the seminary after he attended an intense spiritual renewal, some changes happened about him and now he is a priest of good standing and one of the good priests in his diocese where he was incardinated. Yes, even if we are not in Mt. Tabor, transfiguration happens.
Fr. Joseph Benitez