The Transfiguration reveals Jesus as the Son of God—but this isn’t for Jesus’s sake. He already knows his identity. Instead, the Transfiguration is a gift for His apostles. Just before the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem, where He will suffer His passion and death, He gives Peter, John, and James a glimpse of His glory and the truth of who He is. It is this experience of His glory and the conviction that He is the Son of God that will sustain these apostles at their darkest hour—in John’s case, at the foot of the Cross, and for Peter, in the aftermath of his denial of Christ.
The Transfiguration is a gift for us as well. We’re on our own journey with Jesus towards Jerusalem, as we move into the second week of Lent. Jesus reminds of His glory, and His power over death, just as the going can get a little tough for us—when the Lenten practices and penances we committed to so eagerly just over a week ago can begin to feel like burdens. By revealing His power and glory, Jesus shows us that He isn’t a prize we’ll receive on the other side of Easter, but He’s a presence that will be with us throughout the journey—including in our Lenten “darkest hours!” One practice we’re emphasizing as a parish this Lent is almsgiving — especially giving to our Diocesan Ministry Appeal. The Transfiguration helps us see that when we pick up our cross through our giving —especially when it involves some sacrifice on our part — we are not alone. We’re with Jesus, the Lord of Life. Let’s meditate upon the Transfiguration and see how we might be moved to give in light of the truth of who Jesus is and His closeness to us.
Rev. Mark Zacker