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THE TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS CHRIST

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In the annals of history, there are moments that transcend the ordinary and offer a glimpse into the extraordinary. The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ is one such moment—a radiant manifestation of the glorious splendor of Jesus Christ. It is a scene that evokes awe and wonder, a powerful message of hope. Also, a profound unveiling of insight into the divine nature and identity of Jesus Christ.

This transformative event, intricately connected with today’s readings, holds a timeless message of hope, faith, and divine revelation. Let us explore the profound significance of the Transfiguration and its resonating impact on our journey of faith.

The Transfiguration in the Light of Daniel’s Vision

Astonishingly, when we contemplate on the Transfiguration, the words of the prophet Daniel in the first reading come to life. “As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool; His throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire” (Daniel 7:9). This imagery of divine majesty and glory in Daniel’s vision finds its ultimate fulfillment in the transfigured Jesus Christ.

Certainly, the radiant appearance described by Daniel foretells the glorious splendor of Jesus Christ. Just as Daniel saw the Ancient of Days in dazzling white attire, so too do the disciples behold Jesus: “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light” (Matthew 17:2). This connection underscores Jesus’ divine authority and His identity as the Son of God.

The Testimony of the Disciples in the Transfiguration

In the second reading, St. Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, exclaims, “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses to the glorious splendor of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). Of course, Peter’s words encapsulate the profound impact of the Transfiguration on his faith. Moreover, his encounter with Jesus Christ at the transfiguration was more than just witnessing a spectacular event; it was a divine revelation.

So, as Christians, we must prepare ourselves for such encounters by being open, receptive, and spiritually ready. This involves setting distractions aside, praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17), seeking God’s guidance (Proverbs 3:5–6), and acknowledging our dependence on His grace (2 Corinthians 12:9). This disposition allows us to actively participate in receiving God’s revelation and truths in our lives (Jeremiah 33:3).

The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ Strengthens Our Hope  

The background to Jesus’ transfiguration could be traced back to when Jesus inquired from His disciples about His identity. Jesus asked them, “Who do people say that I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah; and still others say Jeremiah or one of the prophets. But what about you? Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am? Simon Peter boldly answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13–16).

Consequently, Peter’s answer, which marks the turning point, signifies a profound recognition of Jesus’ identity. Subsequently, this is quickly followed by Jesus’ prediction of His suffering, death, and resurrection, leading to anxiety, doubt, and fear among the disciples.

Moreover, in the midst of uncertainty, Jesus Christ chooses Peter, James, and John to witness His transfigured state on the mountain. This extraordinary experience in the gospel reading is not only a display of divine glory but also a source of encouragement and strength. As the cloud envelops them, a voice proclaims, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him” (Matthew 17:5). Thus, God the Father affirms and confirms Jesus’ true identity and nature.

The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ: A Call to Faith and Transformation

Through the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, God reveals His true nature and identity. This helps to reassure, encourage, and give hope to His disciples. Ipso facto, this offers us a fresh chance to rejuvenate our faith, renew our hope, and reaffirm our trust in Jesus Christ, who stands supreme above all and whose reign is eternal. This testimony of God about Jesus Christ as His divine Son is a command to us, to whom we must dedicate our obedience and devotion.

Hence, we are being challenged to embrace our own journey of faith and transformation. Just as the disciples were transformed by witnessing the glorious splendor of Jesus Christ, we too can be transformed when we encounter the living Christ in truth and sincerity. This encounter propels us to heed the Father’s command to “listen to Him,” to embrace His teachings, and to radiate His love and light to the world.

Short Lessons on the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ 

The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ holds several powerful lessons that offer guidance for our spiritual journey. Here’s a concise explanation of each lesson:

1. Seeking Divine Moments of Revelation:

The Transfiguration teaches us the importance of actively seeking moments of divine revelation in our lives. Just as Peter, James, and John were chosen to witness Jesus’ radiant transformation.

2. Embracing God’s Glorious Presence:

We should prioritize cultivating intimacy with God. Allowing His transformative power to shine through us, much like the radiant splendor of Jesus on the mountaintop.

3. Recognizing Christ’s Authority:

The presence of Moses and Elijah alongside Jesus underscores His authority as the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. This urges us to submit to His ultimate authority in our lives.

4. Embracing Transformative Change:

This reminds us of the need for positive transformation. Just as the appearance of Jesus Christ changed, we should embrace change in alignment with God’s will.

5. Sharing Spiritual Encounters:

Peter’s desire to build shelters for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah teaches us to share our spiritual encounters with others. This would enable our testimonies to inspire and edify fellow believers.

6. Strengthening Faith in Times of Doubt:

Jesus’ comforting presence in the disciples’ moment of doubt shows us the importance of turning to Christ during uncertainty. Hence, this allows His reassurance to strengthen our faith.

7. Transcending Earthly Perspectives:

The Transfiguration encourages us to view life through a heavenly lens, focusing on eternal values and the Kingdom of God, rather than being solely consumed by earthly concerns.

Conclusion

From the foregoing, we are called to ascend the mountain of spiritual revelation and witness the glorious splendor of Jesus. This divine manifestation resonates across the pages of Scripture. In connection with the prophetic visions of Daniel and the testimonies of the disciples, this unveils a profound insight into the divine nature and true identity of Jesus Christ. Besides, the Transfiguration serves as a beacon of hope, a source of strength, and a call to faithful transformation.

As we reflect on Jesus’ Transfiguration, may we, too, be transfigured inwardly by the presence of Christ. Let us radiate His love and truth in our world that is in need of His glorious splendor. For those who embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord, His transformative power becomes tangible in their lives. Therefore, with profound affection in our hearts, let us always declare the blessing of being in the company of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Prayer

Almighty God, our Father, you revealed the glorious splendor of Jesus Christ during the Transfiguration. May your glorious light encircle, inspire, and transform the entire family of those reading this homily. In times of uncertainty, may your glory dispel the darkness, anxiety, doubts, and fear in their life and in our society, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Peace of Christ be with you…

Rev. Fr. Ben Okala, C.S.Sp.

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