This year the Solemnity of the Transfiguration falls on a Sunday in Ordinary Time. It therefore supersedes the Sunday in Ordinary time and we focus today on the mystery of the Transfiguration.
Jesus’ transfiguration took place in the context of His speaking repeatedly about His coming suffering and death. The thought of His death caused His followers to be “overwhelmed with grief”. To counterbalance their grief, the Transfiguration of Jesus gave them a foretaste of His risen glory. They were shown what would be the outcome of Jesus’ laying down His life: He would be raised to eternal glory. A share in His glory awaited those who were joined with Him and remained faithful to Him.
The transfigured Jesus is a glimpse of Him glorified by His Father, and a glimpse as well of who we shall become when we are raised up to be with Him and like Him. Jesus’ words to His disciples, “Rise, and do not be afraid”, tell us that we can live without fear because we look forward to being raised.
Grasping and living this hope takes faith—perhaps more faith than we can always muster. However, remember that Jesus also tells us that a tiny bit of faith can work wonders. Nothing is impossible for God, not even raising us to eternal life.