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Holy Spirit, Enlighten Me!
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Opening Prayer: Dear Lord, I humbly ask you to come to my assistance and open my heart and my understanding to get closer to your mystery, to know you and praise you better. (Take a moment of silence in Our Lord’s presence.)
- The Man Behind the Mystery: When the apostles witnessed the Transfiguration, two of them were dumbfounded and Peter barely knew what he was saying. In his Transfiguration, Christ revealed something well beyond his humanity: his glorified self. The three witnesses of the “mystery of Christ, true God and true man” also saw Elijah and Moses rejoicing in Jesus—the fulfillment of the prophets’ announcement that God would send a Redeemer. Truly, this was the most amazing miracle the apostles had seen so far.
- Vision and Understanding: The three witnesses were speechless; they knew what they saw but couldn’t understand it clearly. Seeing does not imply understanding. Pope Benedict said “If, looking at the mystery, reason sees darkness, it is not because there is no light in the mystery, but rather because there is too much of it. Just as when humans raise their eyes to look at the sun, they are blinded; but who would say that the sun is not bright or indeed, the fount of light?” (General Audience, November 21, 2012). Our reason needs assistance to understand what exceeds human realities: the world of grace.
- The Faith in the Mystery: What the apostles could not understand by themselves, the Holy Spirit overshadowed and revealed to them: “Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, ‘This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.’” We need a light that strengthens our reason to reach heights and depths that on its own it cannot. Faith is a gift from the Holy Spirit. Pope Benedict said, “God, with his grace, illuminates reason, unfolds new horizons before it, boundless and infinite. For this reason faith is an incentive to seek always, never to stop and never to be content in the inexhaustible search for truth and reality” (General Audience, November 21, 2012). With the help of the Holy Spirit the mystery is more understandable. Jesus is the Son of God, God the Father’s beloved. We must listen to him.
Conversing with Christ: Dear Father, as your apostle I have no words. I just want to contemplate the mystery of God who took human flesh and to say: “It is good to be here with you.” Strengthen my faith and let me experience the sweetness of your presence.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will make an effort to stop at a church to visit you in the tabernacle. If this is not possible I will make a spiritual communion.
For Further Reflection: Ten Things You Need to Know About Jesus’s Transfiguration, National Catholic Register.
Father Bernardo Torres, LC, was born and raised in Mexico City. He has certifications for couple’s therapy and currently works in Louisiana with young adults helping them to grow deeper in their faith.