Gospel, Luke 12:32-48s
We all have those moments. We look around us and are in awe of what is happening to us. We hear ourselves say, ‘I had to pinch myself’.
When a group of friends headed to the mountains with Jesus, they too had this experience. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
Often words are not enough to describe these moments. There is a deeper sense of knowing that something big is happening but we can’t quite explain it. And to try and explain it to someone who has not experienced it almost becomes nonsensical.
Have you ever had that experience when you try and explain something wonderful that happened to you; and the person you are telling is looking at you confused and not at all excited about what you are saying? We see the confused look and hear ourselves say, ‘Oh well, I suppose you just had to be there’.
In these moments we are transfigured.
The dictionary describes transfiguration as, ‘a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state’.
It’s in moments like these the junk in our lives suddenly looks different. We catch a glimpse of something impossible to put into words.
Jesus wanted to draw his friends into this experience sharing with them a reality they would later come to understand and would enable them to get them through the tough times he knew were ahead.
Our story is the same as the Apostles. It is about getting through the tough times rather than being rescued from them. The disciples came to see Jesus as someone who could take away their fear. From expecting Jesus to be a revolutionary leader in the political sense their understanding was transfigured to see the ‘Kingdom’ as a spiritual reality. Jesus travels with us, inviting us in the words of the liturgy to offer everything ‘through him, with him and in him’.
A common question asks, ‘if God was so powerful and mighty then why doesn’t God change things and make it all right?’. This betrays a misunderstanding similar to that of the disciples. The Transfiguration reminds us year by year that our world is not perfect by offering us a glimpse of where its journey is heading.
This gives us the hope and faith to continue being disciples of Jesus. Without that it would be too easy to give up.
Fiona Rammell is a Lay Pastoral Leader, Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, Wellington.
WelCom August 2017