Transfigured: (Greek) metamorphóō (from metá, "change after being with"+ morphóō, "changing form in keeping with inner reality") meta+morphosis = to be transformed.
This past week we celebrated in the Church my favorite story in all of the Bible –The Transfiguration of Jesus on Mt. Tabor. This story has captured my heart and imagination since early childhood. Funny enough, so did another story. But only after reading the fantastic book, The Wellspring of Worship, did I find out why I liked them both so much.
According to Fr. Jean Corbon The Transfiguration…”or, to transliterate the Greek word, the ‘metamorphosis’, was not a change in Jesus. The Gospel text and the unanimous interpretation of the (Church) Fathers are clear: Christ ‘was transfigured, not by acquiring what he was not but by manifesting to his disciples what he in fact was, he opened their eyes and gave these blind men sight’ (St John Damascene). The change is on the side of the disciples.” And he goes on to say, “As in the burning bush, so here the Word ‘allows’ the light of his divinity ‘to be seen’ in his body, in order to communicate not knowledge but life and salvation: he reveals himself by giving himself and he gives himself, in order to transform us into himself…”
Amazing! What a thought! Jesus was always a gleaming, face “shining like the sun”--God-man, the disciples ( as well as all others, except for the demons apparently, Luke 4:41, Matt. 8:29) were just blinded to seeing who He really was.
And here is my other favorite cool story recorded in the Old Testament book of 2 Kings where human eyes are opened to the heavenly realities taking place all around them—heaven on earth.
“Early the next morning, when the servant of the man of God arose and went out, he saw the force with its horses and chariots surrounding the city.
‘Alas!’ he said to Elisha. ‘What shall we do, my lord?’
Elisha answered, ‘Do not be afraid. Our side outnumbers theirs.’
Then he prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes, that he may see.’ And the LORD opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw that the mountainside was filled with fiery chariots and horses around Elisha.“ 2 Kings 6:15-17
What if we were to see with the eyes of faith that which is the true reality and is all around us? What if we believe that when we pray: “Thy Kingdom Come…” It really does? What if we took Jesus at His word when He states; “And behold, I am with you always, even until the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20)? And that when we say the name “Jesus” out loud-it is full of power because He actually comes to us and inhabits His name as the Catechism states*?
Would we live bolder, truer, more courageous lives? Would we be “transformed” to be like Jesus?
“May the eyes of [your] hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones,and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might…”Ephesians 1:18-19
Open the eyes of my heart…I want to see You. Help me to live each and every day…as if I do. Make me keenly aware of your presence in my life, your Holy Spirit living inside of me that draws me deeper into the love of the Father so that I may grow in holiness and more resemble You.Grant me the grace of transformation.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*CCC 2666: But the one name that contains everything is the one that the Son of God received in his incarnation: JESUS. The divine name may not be spoken by human lips, but by assuming our humanity The Word of God hands it over to us and we can invoke it: "Jesus," "YHWH saves."16 The name "Jesus" contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation. To pray "Jesus" is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies. Jesus is the Risen One, and whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God who loved him and who gave himself up for him.17