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Friday, 04 August 2023 08:35

Transfigured in Christ

Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” (Matthew 17:1-9)

Reflection - Transfigured in Christ

In the Hebrew Scriptures high mountains were traditionally seen as holy places where one could encounter God. It was on the summit of Mt Sinai that Moses received the Law from God (Ex 19) and it was on Mt Horeb that Elijah encountered God in the gentle breeze (1Kings 19:9ff). So, it should come as no surprise that it is on a mountain that the disciples encounter the glorified divinity of Christ.

The transfigured Jesus is shown to the disciples together with Moses and Elijah who, in Jewish tradition, represent the Law and the Prophets. In Jesus, these two great traditions reach their proper fulfilment. Moses and Elijah are also the two figures in the Hebrew scriptures who have direct, personal encounters with God.

Perhaps that affirms that the disciples encounter God in and through their encounter with Christ.

Peter is delighted by this glimpse of the glorified Christ and wants to commemorate the experience by building three tents. But the voice of God interrupts Peter’s request. God seems to say, ‘Forget about building tents, Peter, the important thing is to listen to my beloved Son’.

Through our deep attention to the word of God spoken in Jesus we remain in contact with the heart of God, allowing God’s love to transform and transfigure us and to ‘burst forth’ in goodness.

Being transfigured is a revolution of mind and heart driven by God’s Spirit and enabled by our open heartedness to God’s Word. When we are ‘shot through’ with the presence of God, God can be seen in, and experienced through, us.

It takes faith and perseverance to dare to allow ourselves to be tempted by the passion, hope and vision of God rather than our own desires and wants. It takes great faith to trust in God’s word to us. But if we do, the living word of the Chosen One forms in us the heart of God. 

You can download and print our prayers and reflection for this Sunday

pdf Celebrating At Home Transfiguration [PDF] (2.89 MB)                       
undefined Celebrating At Home Transfiguration [ePub] (3.08 MB)


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The Carmelite Rule states that is basic for a Carmelite to "live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ - how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of his Master" [no.2].


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