Jesus is transfigured and the Almighty Father and Holy Spirit are made manifest. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Humility so he can be humbled and awed by Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist and by growing in the Virtue of Perseverance so he can joyously anticipate his own glorified body.
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord – August 6 – Cycle A – Mt 17:1-9
After revealing His coming Crucifixion and astounding Resurrection, Jesus leads His “inner circle” (Peter, James, John) on the “6th day” up a “high mountain” (traditionally, Mt. Tabor) to witness His Transfiguration (“to change the shape of”). Symbolically, the “6th day” echoes the Genesis act of creating man on the 6th day and prefigures the “New Creation” of the Life in Christ. The mountaintop setting recalls Moses’ encounter with God that caused his face to shine; at the Transfiguration, Jesus is illuminated with supernatural brilliance. The Transfiguration is a supernatural event of immense significance because God in the Trinity is made manifest.
Jesus is “transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light.” Like His Father, Jesus is “light from light” with a holiness beyond earthly possibility and He allows His divinity to be revealed to the Apostles. Jesus summons Moses, representing the Law, and Elijah, representing the Prophets, to bear witness that He perfectly fulfills all Law and Prophecy in the New Covenant. Stunned, confused and frightened, Peter wants to make three booths, perhaps to prolong the heavenly experience.
Suddenly, confirming His Divinity, the Holy Spirit appears as a cloud, and God the Father says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” The three Apostles are filled with awe (Divine fear and reverence) and fall, pressing their faces to the ground with great panic. Realizing the Apostle’s overwhelming fear, Jesus speaks to them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear”; when they look up, He is alone. Leading them down the mountain, Jesus reconfirms that He will be raised from the dead and commands the Apostles, to “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.”
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by how Jesus reveals His Divinity in the Gospel accounts of The Transfiguration (CCC 554-556): Divine Power, He reveals His Transfigured Body, a preview of His Glorified Body which emits a blinding light; Son of God, He has the authority and power to command the greatest of souls (Moses, Elijah) to return from the dead to present themselves to Him; Son of the Father, He is embraced by God the Father; Divine King and greatest Leader, He prepares His inner core of leaders by showing His Divine Presence, giving them a sustaining Hope for the coming trials of His Passion.
Be humbled and awed by His Real Presence
Realize: The Apostles were filled with awe (fear and divine reverence) when they glimpsed the true Divinity and glory of Christ in The Transfiguration; the same true Divinity of Christ resides in the Eucharist.
Believe: Reflect upon the Real Presence in the Eucharist/Tabernacle (CCC 1179-1186, 1373-1381) .
Pray: Jesus, Divine Eucharist, help me build the Virtue of Humility (a part of Temperance) so I recognize my nothingness and Your Infinite greatness, and move me to fall down in worship of You in Adoration and be awed when You allow me to receive You in the Eucharist.
Joyously anticipate your glorified body
Realize: Because every man is challenged by physical suffering due to illness, injury and the effects of age, it can be difficult to imagine the glory and joyous delight of his resurrected body.
Believe: Be awed by the Resurrection of the Dead (CCC 988-1019).
Pray: Almighty and Most Gracious Father, help me build the Virtue of Perseverance (a part of Fortitude) so I can patiently endure the inevitable suffering of my physical body and joyously anticipate the glorified body You will give me at my own resurrection.