I remember someone close who, when I was still in my grade school years, asked me to beg off from attending Mass with my family because “Heaven is already here on earth”. Young as I was then, I’d question myself why my parents would always insist going to Sunday Mass together as a family rather than individually. I would have preferred to go Mass on my own convenient time, had my late Dad not stomped his foot down every time I brought up the idea. Years later, the person close to us was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the brain, and of course, we were deeply saddened by the news. Yet a transformation happened: he humbled himself before God, went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation several times, and spent his remaining earthly days in prayer and gratitude to the Lord. While it was sad, it was also a happy experience despite the pain of losing a friend who was then astray, but was led back into the fold before he departed. How the Lord ensures that we are given second chances!
The Feast of the Transfiguration is an event that Jesus provided His three closest Apostles Peter, James and John a preview of His Glory to strengthen their faith and eventually prepare them for the coming Passion, Death and the Resurrection.
Without the Transfiguration, it may have been very, very difficult for the disciples to undergo trials and suffering. Climbing the high mountain was in itself an ordeal, but it was well worth it in the end. They may not have lasted long, and may not have given up all that they had, but Jesus made sure they know what the mission is all about.
At times, we are so filled-up with worries about our ministries and obligations, yet we forget that Jesus is the reason for everything: it’s not about us looking how good we are doing our assignments, but it is really more on what the Lord wants us to do and learn from it too. We have to pray and listen to Him more, and allow the Lord’s light to illumine our souls, remembering that this is God’s work; we are only His vessels and ministers.
Real change and transformation happen more on the inside of us than outside. Change for the worse is really very easy, yet in the end, it is worthless and may even be tragic for us. On the other hand, change for goodness is very difficult, but it is much better and well worth it.
Like the Apostles, may we be enlightened by the Lord with an everlasting light that would allow us to see beyond earthly pains and sorrows, and into the majesty of God’s Power and Heavenly Glory.
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Mt. 17: 5C)