Homily for the Feast of the transfiguration of the Lord
Theme: The transfiguration experience
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Tuesday August 6 2019
(Mt. 17:1-9) Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Jesus Transfigured Before the Apostles
In today’s Gospel, St. Matthew, the Evangelist, gives an account of the transfiguration of Jesus before the apostles. Jesus’ face shone like the sun and His clothes became white as light. It was a blinding and tremendous experience. It is a foretaste of the divine and the bliss of the Kingdom. They ached for the experience which made them suggest to Jesus for them to just stay there and built places for Jesus, Elijah, and Moses. But it was not meant to be. The Father suddenly appeared with His voice telling them who Jesus was and commanded them to listen to Him. A certain kind of fear engulfed them. Then Jesus told them they must go down and continue His mission of proclaiming the Good News for the salvation of all.
The Second Reading from the Second Letter of St. Peter was a testimony of the transfiguration. St. Peter noted that they “did not follow cleverly devised myths” in order to proclaim their experience of the transfiguration. They were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ glory and heard the command from the Father. It was a life changing experience for them, Peter, James, and John. For them to even suggest to just stay there revealed much of the transfiguration. Suddenly their families, livelihood and land were abandoned if to forgotten. After that vision, they were never the same.
I am sure we also want a similar experience. How is it to have a foretaste of heaven? How is it to experience the divine Jesus? Actually, everyday we always have that chance to experience the divine Jesus. The Eucharist was instituted by Jesus precisely for that purpose and more. At mass, the bread and wine becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus. Through the priest, the Holy Spirit turns the bread and wine into Jesus’ Body and Blood. It is not a matter of our faith that it happens. But it is a matter of faith to believe it. Those who have faith will have a “transfiguration experience”. Those who lack or do not have faith, will just see movements on the altar.
What we do with the experience is another important matter. Jesus, as they were coming down from the mountain, warned the apostles Peter, James, and John not to tell the vision to anyone “UNTIL THE SON OF MAN HAS BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD.” It means that Jesus has still a mission to fulfil. In our case, the transfiguration experience is a gift which has a corresponding task. It includes witnessing for the Gospel, proclaiming Jesus’ words and deeds, and living a life of faith.