August 6 – The Transfiguration of the Lord

“I got you!”… I know that it’s probably not the most grammatically correct saying out there. It might be better to say, “I have your back.” Nonetheless, these are the words that come to my mind as I reflect on the Transfiguration of Jesus in today’s Gospel: “I got you!” 

  The Transfiguration is the point where Jesus reveals to Peter, James, and John his divine nature, but also his kingly status. This harkens back to the first reading from the Prophet Daniel: “The one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14). A king, especially in the Old Testament, was made king because he would protect his people.  As we also heard proclaimed in the psalm, “the Lord is King”! The Lord is going to do everything in his power to protect us. 

Peter, James, and John see Jesus “transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light” (Mt. 17:2). Later, “a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him’” (Mt. 17:5). With this glimpse of his divine and kingly nature, the disciples are given strength to endure not only the crucifixion, but also are given strength for their future ministries. The Lord is King and has already won the battle. 

  As we celebrate the Transfiguration, know that Jesus desires for us to have the same personal encounter with him that his apostles experienced in the Gospel. That way, whatever crosses may come, we will know in a profound way that Jesus Christ is King and is willing to fight and die for us!  

After the Transfiguration, Jesus walks down the mountain with Peter, James, and John and tells them to “not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead” (Mt.17:9). Ultimately, the Transfiguration reveals the Lord’s divine plan and his desire for us to join him in the coming resurrection as well. When things get difficult, I just keep hearing Jesus Christ saying in response, “I got you!” 

Father Michael