The Transfiguration of the Lord

Lori ElsassPastor

On August 6 we will celebrate The Feast of the Transfiguration.  According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Transfiguration is: “The mysterious event in which Jesus, speaking with Moses and Elijah on the mountain, was transformed in appearance – in the sight of Peter, James, and John – as a moment of disclosure of His divine glory”. The Gospel narratives tell us that the Lord Jesus’ “face shone like the sun,” (Matthew 17:2); and that Our Lord’s clothing changed: “glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them” (Mark 9:3).

In the experience of the Transfiguration, the three disciples encounter not only the Lord Jesus, but also the other two Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity: God the Father and God the Holy Spirit also made Themselves known to the three disciples.  As St. Thomas Aquinas put it: “The whole Trinity appeared: The Father in the Voice; the Son in the Man; and the Holy Spirit in the shining Cloud”.

Through The Transfiguration God allowed Peter, James, and John the privileged spiritual experience that was meant to strengthen their faith for the trials they would later endure. But it was only a temporary event; not meant to be permanent.  In the same way, at certain times in this life, God may show us special experiences of his grace that strengthen our faith.  We should welcome these experiences for the graces they are and understand they may have been meant only as momentary glimpses of the joy of heaven to sustain us as we face the challenges of this life, to strengthen us on the path that will, ultimately, lead us into the endless joy of heaven.