Reflection & Dialogue with Questions of the Day: Transfigured in Christ. Confirmed in the faith.

(Note that for the commentary on the Gospel reading and for the reflection, those in last’s year’s treatment of this Sunday (Year B) in this site may still be useful).

The church in her liturgy celebrates a feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord on August 6. This mystery is also recalled today, but in the context of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem, Calvary and the resurrection on Easter morning. Biblical and Jewish tradition looked forward to the transfiguration of the bodies of the just in the world to come, a faith shared by the New Testament (see 1 Corinthians 15:40-44; 2 Corinthians 3:18). This transformation was already taking place on earth, where under the influence of the Spirit of the risen Lord believers are being transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus, from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). Believers in Christ should offer a spiritual sacrifice of a Christian life to God, by not conforming to this world but by being transformed by the renewal of their minds (Romans 12:1-2).

            Today’s readings present us with occasion for much reflection. Only a few points need be mentioned here. (1) The unity that faith sees running through the God’s revelation in both the Old Testament and the mystery revealed in Jesus. Abraham was promised that through his seed (“and this seed was Christ”) all nations would be blessed. He might have implicitly in vision seen Christ’s glory. (2) As just noted, the transfiguration of Christ recalls Christian transfiguration here on earth and the final transfiguration in heaven.

            As a third (3) thought for reflection let us compare Paul’s model of Christian life presented by him to the Philippians with this apostle’s profession in tears that the behaviour of many Christians in that his beloved church was far removed from the ideal, in fact shameful. Times have not changed that much. And yet the Christian ideal triumphed.

            This Sunday readings and the transfiguration scene give us all a message and a call for our own day — to be confirmed in the faith of Christ. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son for us to show his love and commitment to each one of us. The Transfiguration is a mystery for us too, to see the place of Scripture in our life. All Scripture is inspired by the Spirit of God; it links us with the past and confirms us in faith for any difficulties in the present.

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