Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I have thought of the Transfiguration as a gift of Jesus to Peter, James and John. Life had been pretty good for them thus far; miracles in abundance, attention was being paid to the poor, to the not-so-important. But life was going to get challenging and very difficult. They were on the road to Jerusalem. So, perhaps this vision might just sustain them in the tough times; how kind of Jesus, how merciful.
What was the lesson here for me, for us? For women working toward justice, for our sisters from Columbia, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Vietnam, the United States and beyond?
What is our mountain? Who are our companions? How are we changed? Jesus went to what is described as a high mountain; what is the description of the mountain we are asked to climb; for each of us it is different
For the Dominicans of Hope, it might their corporate stances; for our Dominican sisters, it might be our journey here. We, like Peter, James, and John, accepted an invitation. We all face mountains: unjust immigration practice, poverty, violence, trafficking of women and children, climate change, famine, terrorism, disease, climate change— all different mountains and somewhat overwhelming.
There were trusted companions in our Gospel today, Peter, James, John, Jesus; we have each other. I was struck last evening when we gathered and Sister Helena said, “We are all strangers, but I feel at home with you.”
We are blessed in our companions, our sisters. We have counted on them in the past and we can continue to count on them.
The experience of the Transfiguration for Peter, James and John was astonishing. Peter, wonderful Peter, is going to build tents and stay there. Once again, he doesn’t get it, and once again he receives the understanding and love of Jesus. That gives me some hope about my own life. Then the voice from heaven: “This is my beloved Son, Listen to him.”
The disciples fall to the ground and Jesus touched them saying, “Do not be afraid” (basically, “I am here”). The words change them, give them what they need.
What experience has changed us? What has made us see differently?
What have been the transfiguration moments in your life, those times when you were being called to be all you could be? How might you be changing now— called to something beyond your imagination?
And then we come down the mountain and we ask ourselves, “What will we do? What words about justice will move us to action? What will you bring home?”
We might remember the words of Jesus to each one of us: “Do not be afraid.”
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