Reflection & Dialogue:The glory of Christ and the call to bear witness.
Christ’s transfiguration on the mountain was a witness to the glory he would have after his resurrection. A vision of this glory continues to be shared by the Church. Jesus has revealed the Father and continues to reveal him to believers. Christ himself has told us that whoever sees him sees the Father. Paul the Apostle lays stress on this vision of Christ in the hearts of the faithful. As he wrote to the Cortinthians (among other related matters) (2 Corinthians 4:6): “For it is the God who said. ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”. In the second reading today we have a reference to the presence of the glory of God in the Appearing of Christ among us in his earthly life.
Christ lives in the hearts of the faithful through his grace and through the Holy Spirit, his Spirit. He shines through his teaching in the Gospels, in the Beatitudes, in the Sermon on the Mount. He came that his followers, and the world, may have life and have it in abundance. Belief in the transfiguration of Christ, and of his followers, gives a vision of life through grace — a vision that is important for believers today more than ever, when some many other visions, and voices, are vying for attention.
The second reading today gives material for our reflection, containing as it does an invitation, perhaps a warning, not to be shy about belief in this vision of the glory of God in Jesus, and to be ready to bear witness to it as occasion indicates.
(For reflections on the Sunday and Feast Day readings see Martin McNamara, Sunday Readings with Matthew: Interpretations and Reflections, Dublin, Veritas, 2016)