Dear Friends in Christ
Peter’s witnessing of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor wasn’t sufficient to enable him to withstand the overwhelming doubt and confusion he experienced when, gripped by fear and cowardice in the midst of the events of Jesus’ Passion and death, he denied Christ three times. This foretaste of the kingdom high on Mount Tabor couldn’t help him resist the temptation to betray his Lord. We do know that once he turned back, he would strengthen the believers with his witness of what occurred on the mountain.
Peter bears eloquent testimony to the Transfiguration event, proclaiming that it was when he saw first-hand Jesus’ majesty and glory and heard the Father’s voice say: ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. For a moment Jesus disclosed his divine glory and revealed that the way of the cross is the way into God’s glory. First the shame (the cross), then the glory (resurrection). Just before Jesus began his public ministry, he was baptised and the Blessed Trinity was revealed. Just before he entered his Passover, he was transfigured and the Blessed Trinity was revealed. As St. Thomas Aquinas said: ‘The Father in the voice, the Son in the man Jesus, the Spirit in the shining cloud.’
Through baptism we are immersed into the death and resurrection of Jesus and the blessed life of the Trinity. Our dignity and our destiny rest on the living hope that at the coming of Jesus and the resurrection of the dead we will be raised up body and soul, just as Jesus was raised up body and soul. The Transfiguration gives us a foretaste of the resurrection life to come, but first we too must embrace the cross of suffering.
The walk of holiness means that day after day we are being transformed, so that one day, like Jesus on Mount Tabor, we will reflect the glory of Christ, and this life will make us shine resplendently. Lent is a time for us to taste and see that the Lord is good, and part of this means glimpsing, rather as the disciples did, the future glory of being a son and daughter of God.