ABOUT A WEEK LATER, having returned to Galilee, Jesus took Peter, James, and John and ascended a high mountain. While He was praying there, He was transfigured before His disciples. His face shone with a sunlike radiance, and an aura of light surrounded His whole body, making His clothes appear dazzlingly white. And on either side of Jesus appeared Moses and Elias, who conversed with Him about His Passion.
The Apostles had been sleeping while Christ prayed, and they witnessed this mysterious scene when they awoke. Presently, as Moses and Elias withdrew, Peter said to Jesus exultantly, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If Thou wilt, let us set up three tents here, one for Thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias.”
As Peter spoke to Jesus, a luminous cloud appeared above their heads, and a voice came from the cloud, saying:
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him.”
Terrified at this voice from the sky, the disciples threw themselves face-down on the ground. But Jesus came up and reassured them, saying:
“Arise, and do not be afraid.”
And when they looked up again, Jesus was alone. Coming down from the mountain, He cautioned them:
“Tell the vision to no one, till the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
They obeyed Jesus and kept this matter to themselves. But as they walked along they began discussing what He meant by the words, “risen from the dead.” And they asked, “Why then do the Pharisees and Scribes say that Elias must come first?” Jesus answered:
“Elias indeed is to come and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elias has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also shall the Son of Man suffer at their hands.”
Meditation: Three had the happiness of witnessing the Transfiguration; the same three were present at the Agony in the Garden. Therein is one of the mysteries of the Christian life. Great joy and great suffering are mixed in a life close to God. To give oneself completely to God will bring greater peace and joy to the soul than anything else. But with the joy will be suffering. For the Christian life is a life like Christ’s.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 111-112. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.