Suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him!’ Matthew 17:5
in the transfiguration of your Son
you confirmed the mysteries of the faith
by the witness of Moses and Elijah,
and in the voice from the cloud
you foreshadowed our adoption as your children:
make us, with Christ, heirs of your glory,
and bring us to enjoy its fullness;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now
and for ever. Amen.
- Exodus 24:12-18
- Psalm 2
- 2 Peter 1:16-21
- Matthew 17:1-9
- Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
- Psalm 32
- Romans 5:12-21
- Matthew 4:1-11
Transfiguration of Christ
Jesus was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.
On this Sunday before the beginning of Lent, we hear Matthew’s account of the extraordinary transformation of Jesus that Peter, James and John witness on Mount Tabor.
Matthew’s account of the “transfiguration” (which takes place six days after his first prediction of his passion and his first instructions on the call to discipleship) is filled with images from the First Testament: the voice which repeats Isaiah’s “Servant” proclamation, the appearance of Moses and Elijah, the dazzling white garments of Jesus. Matthew’s primary interest is the disciples’ reaction to the event: their awe at this spectacular vision will soon wither into fear at the deeper meaning of the transfiguration — a meaning that they do not yet grasp. As the disciples will later understand, the transfiguration is a powerful sign that the events ahead of them in Jerusalem are indeed the Father’s will.
The use of the Greek word “transfiguration” indicates that what the disciples saw in Jesus on Mount Tabor was a divinity that shone from within him. This coming Lenten season (which begins on Wednesday) is a time for each of us to experience such a “transfiguration” within ourselves – that the life of God within us may shine forth in lives dedicated to compassion, justice and reconciliation.
Peter’s reaction to the Christ of the Transfiguration contrasts sharply with his reaction to the Christ of Good Friday: While totally taken with the transfigured Christ in today’s Gospel, Peter is afraid to even acknowledge knowing the condemned Christ. Lent calls us to descend Mount Tabor with Jesus and journey with him to Jerusalem and take up our cross with him, so that the divinity we see in the transfigured Jesus may become in us the Easter life of the Risen Christ. © Connections/MediaWorks
You can download a copy of the Pew Sheet hereTransfiguration