Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
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.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
17:1–8 Jesus’ Transfiguration confirms his divine Sonship (3:17; 16:16). It also strengthens three early Church leaders (Peter, James, and John) after Jesus’ first Passion prediction (16:21). Being transfigured before them (17:2), Jesus unveils his glory, later manifest in his Resurrection and shared by his angels (28:2–3) and Virgin Mother in heaven (Rev 12:1) (CCC 555–56). ● The OT background for this event is God’s self-revelation to Moses on Mt. Sinai. (1) Both take place on the seventh day (17:1; Ex 24:16); (2) both occur on a mountain (17:1; Ex 24:13, 15); (3) both Jesus and Moses take three companions with them (17:1; Ex 24:1); (4) the faces of both Jesus and Moses shine with God’s glory (17:2; Ex 34:29); (5) both involve the glory-cloud of God’s Presence; (6) and both events involve God speaking through a heavenly voice (17:5; Ex 24:16). ● the glory that shone around the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration prefigures the contemplation of God in eternity, when the minds of the saints will be forever lifted up from lower concerns and engulfed in the blazing light of the Trinity.
Friends, today’s Gospel recounts the story of the Transfiguration. Here the glorified Jesus represents the fulfillment of the Old Testament revelation, symbolized by Moses, representing the law, and Elijah, representing the prophets.
Let’s look at the two basic divisions. God gave the Torah, the law, to his people, in order that they might become a priestly people, a holy nation, a people set apart, in the hopes that they would then function as a sort of magnet to the rest of the world. But the law didn’t take. From the very beginning, the people turned away from its dictates, and became as bad as the nations around them.
And then the prophets. Repeatedly we hear the call to be faithful to the Torah, to follow the ways of the Lord. The prophets constantly turn on Israel itself, reminding her of her own sinfulness. And then came Jesus, God and man. Jesus did what no hero of Judaism had ever done. He fulfilled the law, remained utterly obedient to the demands of the Father, even to the point of laying down his life. He brought the Torah and the prophets thereby to fulfillment.
– Bishop Robert Barron
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.