The Transfiguration of the Lord (A)


The Transfiguration of the Lord (A) Mt. 17: 1-9 – August 6, 2017

“Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

There is a tale about two city young girls who never had been in or seen a farm. All they had seen in the city were modern shopping centers, big buildings, wide avenues, and a lot of technology. One day their parents took them to a farm and the girls decided to wonder into the country. The first thing they saw was a farmer plowing. They said to each other that this man must be out of his mind to be tearing up a beautiful green field. Then they looked as the farmer was sowing seed, and were amazed especially when the man next covered over the seed as if he were trying to bury it. Laughing at the farmer´s foolish actions, they went back to the city.

After some months they returned to the country. Now they were surprised as they saw the standing crop of wheat in the farmer´s field, but even more amazed when they saw him cutting down the stalks. They could not understand the whole process of how the bread they daily ate came to be.

The amazement of the girls seem to be simple, but with all of our technological knowledge today, we understand very little of the working of God´s world. Scientists usually describe with a sense of perfection the physical phenomena, but they cannot explain what happen, that means, they cannot tell us the why: What makes gravity work? Why does the earth and other planets rotate? What makes seed buried in the earth grow into a tree, even if we understand that water and sunshine help it to grow. Life in all labels in the universe is a mystery.

We celebrate today the feast of the Transfiguration, and we hear in today´s Gospel the Father´s recognition of Jesus as his beloved Son, and his emissary of redemption, as it happened early in his baptism.

The Gospel´s narration is described as a theophany, a manifestation of God and is accompanied by apocalyptic imagery, given the event an end-time significance. Reminding us the apocalyptic language of the prophet Daniel´s shining face and cloths of the ancient one, here Jesus also experienced a profound change, enveloped in a strong and blinding light.

This privilege of the transfiguration of Jesus prepared the apostles for the trial of the Lord and his death. The objective was to strengthen their faith on that day of suffering, so that remembering Jesus´ glory on the mountain they could suffer his death with hope for his resurrection. But the scandal of his death on the cross was too much for them until Jesus had risen from the dead.

Like in the painful process of the seed sowing, in our story of the two city girls, the transfiguration of Jesus is a preview of his death and resurrection, and the glory that will be his after the servant role as the Son of Man is brought to completion.

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