The Transfiguration of the Lord

The Transfiguration

As a glorious preview of his Resurrection, Christ’s appearance dramatically and temporarily changed in front of his closest Apostles on Mt. Tabor. The events of the Transfiguration revealed that Jesus is the divine Son of God.

Soon after Peter proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah and only a week after Jesus first predicted his own passion and death, Peter, James, and John witnessed Jesus’ face change while He spoke with Moses and Elijah on the mountain. Those Apostles then heard God the Father call Jesus his Beloved Son for the second time.

Moses represents the Law and Elijah represents the prophets. Their presence at the Transfiguration shows that Jesus is the fulfillment of all that had been promised in the Old Covenant.

The Transfiguration of Jesus is the 4th Luminous Mystery of the Rosary and is recounted in all three of the synoptic Gospels. The story is always read on the 2nd Sunday of Lent as a reminder of the gift of hope.

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord each year on August 6.

What happened to Jesus could happen to us:

The glory of God awaits us:

About eight days after He said this, Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up a mountain to pray. While He was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with Him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that He was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with Him. As they were about to part from Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying. While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to Him.” After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.

Luke 9: 28-36

The Gospels give different accounts:

Pointing toward a new Exodus:

The dazzling event of the Transfiguration is a preparation for the tragic, but no less glorious, event of Calvary. Peter, James and John contemplate the Lord Jesus together with Moses and Elijah, with whom, according to the Evangelist Luke, Jesus speaks “of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem”. The eyes of the Apostles are therefore fixed upon Jesus Who is thinking of the Cross. There his virginal love for the Father and for all mankind will attain its highest expression. His poverty will reach complete self-emptying, his obedience the giving of his life.

John Paul II, Vita Consecrata, March 25, 1996

The Transfiguration gives us reason to hope: 

The mystery of the Transfiguration strengthens faith:

For a moment Jesus discloses his divine glory, confirming Peter’s confession. He also reveals that He will have to go by the way of the cross at Jerusalem in order to “enter into his glory”. Moses and Elijah had seen God’s glory on the Mountain; the Law and the Prophets had announced the Messiah’s sufferings. Christ’s Passion is the will of the Father: the Son acts as God’s servant; The cloud indicates the presence of the Holy Spirit. “The whole Trinity appeared: the Father in the voice; the Son in the man; the Spirit in the shining cloud.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 555

Worshipping at the site of Jesus’ Transfiguration high on Mt. Tabor:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Responding to prompts from God:

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