What happened on that mountain of the Transfiguration was an explosion of unearthly, “Unborrowed” light that shone around & from within Jesus. The Transfiguration was, & is, a moment of challenge & promise to the Apostles & to us. On that mountain, they glimpsed the divinity of Jesus.
They realised then & there that Jesus was more than a great teacher, a charismatic personality, a reformer, a healer. Jesus was the son of God. The voice of the Father said, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him.” That means that Jesus’ teaching is God’s teaching & Jesus’ forgiveness is God’s forgiveness. That is why the church was so careful to preserve his words & gestures in the Gospels & the teachings of his apostles in the rest 0f the New Testament. We don’t have to wonder what God wants of us because it is all clear in the gospels.
There is a tendency today for people to give greater study to “private revelations” than to the clear teachings of Jesus in the Gospels. What Jesus had to say to the Pharisees was not just to them but to us. What Jesus had to say to the self righteous people at his time was not just to them but to us. What Jesus had to say to the repentant people, the ones seeking spiritual healing was not just for them but also for us. When we read the gospels, we aren’t simply reading a transcript of what happened in history. We are reading God’s message to us today.
That is why every detail in the gospel accounts & all the teachings in the New Testament have been preserved through the Holy Spirit and are proclaimed each Sunday. We stand out of respect when the words of the gospel are read. They have been the subject of whole libraries of study, meditation, reflection and exposition. They have been treasured by the Church & should be treasured by us as the definitive & final revelation of God’s will that is the sure guide to salvation for everyone. “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” When Jesus speaks, God speaks to us. Read the New Testament in this light & it will open up new worlds of strength & peace for us today. What Jesus said to the people of Palestine, he is saying to us.
The Transfiguration is also a moment of promise, It was a kind of “fast forward” for the Apostles to show them what is beyond Good Friday & to strengthen them for the trial of Jesus’ crucifixion & death.
It is also a promise of what awaits every follower of Jesus, the glory that we see in Jesus will one day be ours.