Peace and grace to you all!
The event of the Transfiguration was for Jesus and his disciples a dazzling and affirming memory. Most of us have had moments of glory in our lives in which we have felt blessed, affirmed and strengthened. These memories are imprinted in us and they never fade or leave. I remember my best friend who received the Most Valuable Player Award for his outstanding performance through a basketball tournament when we were in High School. He was given a trophy that he still has! Fr. Craig Boly’s mother Frances was chosen as the Rose Queen in 1939 and I know first-hand that it remained a dazzling memory for her!
There have also been moments of extreme awkwardness and discomfort due to misunderstandings, illnesses or mistakes. The Transfiguration provides a contrasting back-drop of dazzling beauty against deformity, horror and ugliness for Jesus and ourselves. For Jesus, it was being arrested amidst false accusations, gross miscarriage of justice, abuse of power, brutal beating and horrible disfigurement of his body by being crucified. For ourselves, it reminds us of our own beauty and glory even though there are failures and struggles in life with injustices, betrayal, illnesses or when bad things happen to us or our friends or family and we have no control.
It reminds me of the day my friend William Manfield informed me that he was dying of cancer. The day was bright, sunny and warm while we sat on a park bench in Victoria watching ships and boats pass by in the Straight of Juan de Fuca: it was a lovely day and William still had the glow of life and love showing through him. In the months that followed, that glow faded away as his body was disfigured by the disease and finally by death. It is hard for us to encounter things like that but such times help us to remember what is important and how to cherish those memories.
In the Transfiguration, God gives us an image that far surpasses any earthly glory. It shows God’s vision of the human person restored and fully alive! That’s who Jesus is! This directs us in faith to the object of our final hope. Like Jesus, we know that our mortal lives are passing, but there is a resplendent, glorious, and eternal life to come! The memories we have can help to anchor our hope in God’s faithful promises. The knowledge and belief of Jesus’ commitment to God’s will leads to final triumph over sin and strengthens us! It firmly sets our moral compass to follow Jesus the guiding star of our lives when darkness surrounds us. Abraham Trusted God in the midst of extreme difficulty. Jesus was obedient to God even when it meant losing his friends and laying down his life. God is asking us to trust and be obedient too. How do your memories help you love, let go and live for God? May God bless you always! +++ Fr. Peter