Today is the glorious Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, commemorating in the midst of the (northern hemisphere) summer blaze, and just prior to the summer Easter, the moment on Mt. Tabor that Jesus’ body was manifested to his three inner-circle disciples as the epicenter of the bewildering and beautiful splendor of His luminous divinity.
This is a soteriological feast, or a feast about the mystery of our salvation. It is a moment in Jesus’ public ministry that anticipates the Paschal Mystery as He converses with Moses-Elijah, icons of the Jewish Scriptures, about his impending passover exodus in Jerusalem, even as his very flesh radiates, in pre-dawn hues, the magnificent light of the resurrection.
But this wonderful sign, this terrifying unveiling of the Mystery is for us. Jesus’ disciples, who in this scene are simply dumbstruck by what they see and hear, will soon be allowed to ingest, on the night the Passover-exodus arrives, that glorious Flesh of the slain-risen Lamb. They will share the Light of His transfiguration provided they freely embrace His exodus through the Cross — per crucem ad lucem.
Note below the bodily disposition of the disciples in the unveiled presence of this Mystery. St. Teresa would later mirror their bewildered bodies.
Next time you are at Mass and dare-approach the Sacrament of that transfigured Flesh, think of your bodily gesture of reverence as a ritual expression of this bewildered love…