Thursday, January 21, 2016


Fourth Luminous Mystery: The Transfiguration
Mark 9: 2-7. 
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”

In the Transfiguration, another moment of supernatural light bursts through and shatters the ordinary appearances of business-as-usual. Jesus allows them to see the dazzling light of glory, and to hear the Father’s voice attesting to his Son. If Jesus’ baptism prefigured his Passion and Death, the Transfiguration prefigures his Resurrection into glory. In the shining face of Jesus, the new Moses, the apostles see the glory that will be waiting for them too, once the sufferings of this life are through. Peter wanted to set up tents on the mountain, but he had it all backwards. They were not meant to dwell in that experience; it was meant to dwell in them, as a memory that would travel with them like a torch to enlighten the hard times ahead. In our lives too, sometimes we find ourselves nostalgic for our own mountain-top experiences, wishing we could return to bask in that blissful glow. But like Peter, we’ve got it all backwards. Those moments are given to us as an encouraging memory to spur us on in hard times, as a glimpse of the greater joy that lies ahead of us.
In this mystery, Mary can help us remember that no matter how deep and shadowed the valleys—discouragement, depression, confusion, loneliness, anxiety— the light of heaven is real and there is much to look forward to. The best is yet to come.

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