Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, the disciples no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant. Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He told them, “Elijah will indeed come first and restore all things, yet how is it written regarding the Son of Man that he must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
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The Transfiguration is one of my favorite mysteries. As I reflect on it, I love to imagine what Jesus would have looked like in his divinity. I don’t think I’m alone in wishing that I could have been with Peter, James, and John on that mountain. I know that if I were there, I would have wanted to stay too. I can’t think of anything better than gazing at Jesus in all his beautiful, glorious divinity forever. But if Jesus would have stayed there, he never would have gone to Jerusalem to die for us and save us. If Peter, James, and John would have stayed there, they never would have made disciples of all nations and told others about Jesus. While it’s good to be on the mountain with Jesus, he also calls us to leave and help those around us to encounter him. Although at first Jesus tells his disciples not to tell anyone about the Transfiguration, eventually they do. Reading about the Transfiguration has helped me to understand who Jesus is. Meditating on it has helped me to grow closer to him, and it made me yearn to grow in holiness and encounter him deeply. I might not have been able to be on the mountain to experience Jesus’ Transfiguration, but I can still spend time with him and witness his divinity when I receive the Eucharist and when I pray in Eucharistic Adoration. It’s good that we’re here to be with Jesus and worship him, but it’s just as good to go, tell those whom we encounter about him, and help them see his divinity as well.