(Editors note) Today the Catholic Church remembers St. Clair. I repost this in her honor! The story of Jesus transfiguring before Peter, James, and John is recorded in Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
St. John does not mention the Transfiguration of Jesus even though he was one of the three Apostles who witness the event.
The Transfiguring of Jesus reminds me of Moses who had a similar experience.
Moses asked our Lord, “Do let me see your glory” (Exodus 33:18).
Consider that Moses makes this request after speaking to the Lord “face to face, as one man speaks to another (Exodus 33:11) yet Exodus 33:20 the Lord says, “But my face you cannot see, for no man sees me and still lives”, Moses was able to see the Lord’s presence, but not his face.
Being in the presence of the Lord, Exodus 35:29-30 states, “As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the Lord. When Aaron, them and the other Israelites saw Moses and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become, they were afraid to come near him”.
This scene is very similar to the event the Apostles witnessed at Christs Transfiguration. This sign is not by accident, Deuteronomy 18:15 states, “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kinsmen; to him you shall listen”.
It is also not an accident that Moses along with Elijah both appeared with Jesus. Moses is about to witness the glory he had asked God in Exodus 33:18.
Were they with Samuel and the rest of humanity that were not damned (1 Samuel 28:13-14)?
Were they waiting in this “prison” St. Peter refers to (1 Peter 3:19)?
Were they among the “many Saints who had fallen asleep” (Matthew 27:52-53) who were raised at Christs resurrection?
This is very interesting to me as this reveals something of the teaching on Purgatory and the saved.
It is important to see the connection between Moses and Jesus.
They both radiated brightly after being in the presence of God. Jesus reveals his own divinity:
“After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. The 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. Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant” (Mark 9:2-10).
Matthew in his Gospel adds that Jesus “came and touched them, saying, Rise, and do not be afraid”.
This scripture place the transfiguration of Jesus six days after the first prediction of his passion and death and his instruction to his disciples on the doctrine of the cross.
Jesus reveals insight into the divine glory that he possessed. His glory will overcome his death.
The cloud and the heavenly voice prepares the disciples to understand the divine plan that Jesus must die before his messianic glory is made manifest. Moses and Elijah represent the law and the prophets in the Old Testament and are linked to Mt. Sinai.
They now appear with Jesus as witnesses to the fulfillment of the law and the prophets taking place in the person of Jesus. The shadow covering them reminds us of the Old Testament indicating the Lord’s presence in the midst of his people (Exodus 40:34-35).
A comparison between Jesus and Elijah is that both were taken into heaven in a cloud. Elijah in a fiery Chariot in a whirlwind!
The Apostles were not to reveal what they witnessed until after the resurrection. The Catholic Church recalls this revelation of the Lord so we can spiritually follow this glory of the Lord, just like Moses. Jesus shows us the true path!
The road leads to Jerusalem. It leads to Calvary, a place called Golgotha, the place of the skull.
The human race is intently watching the events unfolding.
Everyone plays an important part in what occurred on this hill outside Jerusalem.
It was for us all that Jesus made this journey. By his stripes we are healed.
It was for us all that Jesus made this journey. The true Lamb of God! “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing. To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever. Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne and from the Lamb. For the Lamb who is the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life giving water” (Rev 5:12-13, Rev 7:10-17).
Jesus States, “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:3).
During this season of Lent, we should hunger for his voice. We should want to rid ourselves of the vices that separate us from that close personal relationship with Christ.
Jesus speaks of another group of people warning, “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in Heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name? Then I will declare to them solemnly, I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers” (Matthew 7:21-23).
Let the truth lead us to do these good works and take advantage of this lent to live free of sinful lives.
What Moses and Elijah was given a glimpse of, we have the blessing to see at every Mass. We receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus, and participate in the glory of Christ.
A Eucharistic Miracle occurred through St. Clare of Assisi. She was a friend of St. Frances! St.Clare took advantage of Lent her whole life giving herself totally to God as St. Francis had done. On one occasion when the army of Frederick II was devestating the Valley of Spoleto, some of the Soldiers threatened to sack Assisi.
The Towns people surrounding the convent where St.Clare lived were fleeing the countryside fearing the worst for their lives. As the Soldiers came upon the walls of the city, they placed ladders against the walls.
St. Clare prostrated herself before Jesus in the Eucharist. Her prayer was heard as she took the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament and went to the wall before the enemy.
As the Soldiers were climbing up the ladders with crowbars, axes, bow, and spears, the town appeared lost. Then Jesus in the Host illuminated brightly before the Soldiers. The Host became dazzling white blinding the attackers.
Due to a sudden panic, the Soldiers subsequently fled in terror. This lent let Jesus transfigure our hearts so that our hearts will beat a little faster when we receive our Lord in the Eucharist.
If you do, then surely when you stand before Jesus on “that day”, He will say, “Well done good and faithful servant, you listened to my voice”!
Father’s you all need to hear this!
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