Day 79: Jesus’ Transfiguration and Messianic Acts (554-560)
Today is Day 79!!
Yesterday we talked about THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM
How Jesus’ signs were messianic signs demonstrating that he IS the Anointed One
He is the one who handed the keys of the Kingdom to Simon Peter after his profession of faith in Jesus’ identity as the Messiah
We’ll talk more about that as days go on
We’ll talk more about the structure of the Church
We have the next step
These are the Mysteries of Jesus’ life
And the next step as we’re following Christ’s life is THE TRANSFIGURATION
The CONTEXT is The Kingdom
A FORETASTE OF THE KINGDOM IS THE TRANSFIGURATION!!
What do we mean by that?
So for the next few paragraphs here we’re going to talk about how Jesus’ Transfiguration is a FORETASTE of the Kingdom
And how Jesus’ ascent into Jerusalem is going up to fulfill that role of the King
Sometimes we just kind of look at the events of Christ’s life and think this is the path of the Messiah
This is the path of our Lord
And we don’t necessarily realize that what he’s doing here is HE IS FULFILLING THE MESSIANIC VOCATION
He’s fulfilling this CALL that the Messiah had to ESTABLISH the Kingdom
EVERYTHING HE’S DOING IS ESTABLISHING THE KINGDOM!!
Yes, it’s REDEEMING US
That goes without saying
Even the Transfiguration is a FORETASTE OF THE KINGDOM
The glory is REVEALED on the mountain
A FORETASTE OF THE KINGDOM: THE TRANSFIGURATION
What does that mean?
Part of what it means is that the glory that we will behold Him with for eternity, God willing, if we make it to heaven, is the glory that HE ALWAYS HAS
HIS GLORY THAT IS REVEALED
He will also enter into human suffering and pain and death and rise from the dead
That’s a FORETASTE of our participation in His Kingdom as well
Where we are called to ENTER INTO SUFFERING
We are called to ENTER INTO LIFE
We are called to ENTER AND DO THIS ALL THROUGH LOVE
We are called to ENTER INTO DEATH
We are called to PARTICIPATE IN HIS RESURRECTION AS WELL
And it is just remarkable to realize that as Jesus discloses his divine glory, He also reveals that he HAS to go by THE WAY OF THE CROSS
IT REALLY IS SO BEAUTIFUL!!
IT IS SO POWERFUL!!
Here’s Jesus as the moment he reveals his Glory
Think about this…
The Father revealed to Peter that Jesus is the Messiah
Peter confessed that
Jesus changed his name and gives him the keys to the kingdom
And the very next thing Jesus says is the prediction of HIS PASSION
OK, so here’s the revelation of the kingdom, in a powerful way, and then Jesus predicts His Passion
The same kind of thing happens here with the Transfiguration
Where his DIVINE GLORY is revealed
The Passion is once again prophesied
THIS HAS TO HAPPEN!!
And what that points out is, “OK, yeah, God you ARE God. You are God and you don’t stay away from our pain. You are God and you also call us, not only to the heights of your Glory, but you call us also to the depths of your love, a love that is willing to enter into suffering.”
So Jesus goes into Jerusalem and that’s also a witness
As we cry out “Hosanna!” like we do that every single Palm Sunday
Hosanna means “save” or “give salvation”
Paragraph 559 says, “And the King of Glory enters his city riding on an ass. Jesus conquers the Daughter of Zion, a figure of his Church, neither by ruse nor by violence, but by the humility that bears witness to the truth.”
THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!
As he enters into Jerusalem, he’s acclaimed by the poor
He’s acclaimed by children
And he takes the city
He has victory of the city
And not by ruse or by violence
By HUMILITY that bears witness to the truth
WHICH IS JUST AMAZING!!
So we get to hear about that today
So, let’s pray and just ask the Lord to reveal to our hearts and to our minds what it is he wants us to hear today as we learn to walk with Jesus
This last little section before tomorrow’s “In Brief”
But last little section today as we just kind of conclude the mysteries of Christ’s life
You know the day after tomorrow we’re going to dive deeply into the mystery of Christ’s Passion
But today we have the Mystery of the Transfiguration
The Mystery of his entry into Jerusalem
We have the mystery of the fact that He is a king
He is a King who is HUMBLE
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in heaven. We thank you and just stand in awe of you. We stand in awe of your Son. We stand in awe of how you reveal yourself to be, that who you reveal yourself to be, that Yes, you are the God who is the King of the Universe and at the same time, you are the God who enters into the worst we have to offer. You are the God who enters into the lowest places. Lord God, enter into the lowest places in our lives. Yes, you are the God of Glory, but you also don’t hide from our shame. You’re the God of power, but you are not afraid of our weakness. Be with us now in our shame. Be with us now in our weakness. Be with us now and forever. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”
Ok, we’ve gone all the way from the mystery of the prophecies of Christ’s life
To His birth…
To the announcement to the Magi and the shepherds…
And the mysteries of His hidden life…
The mysteries of His public life…
Here to the end
Well the day after tomorrow we’ll get into the mystery of his Passion, Death, and Resurrection
But the mysteries of his public life
Again, we talk about the Transfiguration which happens in such a way to reveal his glory
I love this
This is in Paragraph 555 that quotes the prayer of the Byzantine liturgy, “You were transfigured on the mountain, and your disciples, as much as they were capable of it, beheld your glory, O Christ our God, so that when they should see you crucified, they would understand that your Passion was voluntary.”
IT IS INCREDIBLE!!
In seeing the Transfiguration, it revealed that JESUS WAS NOT AN UNWILLING VICTIM
HE IS THE SACRIFICE!!
He offers himself
He’s not the unwilling victim
He’s not an unwitting victim
He’s not being pulled about by this world
He VOLUNTARILY entered into Jerusalem
HE WALKED TO THE CITY WHERE THE PROPHETS ARE KILLED
The Transfiguration REVEALS that THIS WAS HIS CHOICE
The Transfiguration REVEALS that this was VOLUNTARY
And PROCLAIMED TO THE WORLD
Paragraph 559 continues, “And proclaimed to the world that you truly are the splendor of the Father.”
WHICH IS JUST INCREDIBLE!!
Maybe you caught this in Paragraph 556, “On the threshold of the public life of Jesus: the baptism; On the threshold of the Passover: the Transfiguration.”
It’s kind of this point-counterpoint, or this aesthetically..very aesthetically pleasing balance
Remember the Father speaking over the Son at the Jordan River on the threshold of that public life, Baptism
On the threshold of the Passover, Transfiguration where the Father speaks
Jesus’ baptism proclaimed the mystery of the first regeneration, which is OUR BAPTISM
The Transfiguration is the sacrament of the second regeneration, OUR OWN RESURRECTION
So do you see that connection?
Where Jesus being baptized PREFIGURES our Baptism
Jesus being transfigured PREFIGURES our Resurrection
OH MY GOSH!!
HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT??
Paragraph 556 continues, “The Transfiguration gives us a foretaste of Christ’s glorious coming, when he will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body.” 🤯 🤯 🤯
Paragraph 556 continues, “But it also recalls that ‘it is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.’”
And this quote here by St. Thomas Aquinas in Paragraph 556, “Peter did not yet understand this when he wanted to remain with Christ on the mountain. It has been reserved for you, Peter, but for after death. For now, Jesus says: ‘Go down to toil on earth, to serve on earth, to be scorned and crucified on earth. Life goes down to be killed; Bread goes down to suffer hunger; the Way goes down to be exhausted on his journey; the Spring goes down to suffer thirst; and you refuse to suffer?”
And he could say to us
“And YOU refuse to suffer?”
THAT IS SO POWERFUL!!
EVERYTHING IN JESUS’ LIFE IS THIS MYSTERY
BECAUSE IT KEEPS REVEALING TO US HIS IDENTITY, HIS MISSION, AND OUR IDENTITY, AND OUR MISSION
So just as Jesus is transfigured
THAT IS OUR DESTINY!!
THAT IS WHAT HE WANTS FOR US!!
But then also, as Jesus descends that mountain
And enters into AGONY
And enters into BROKENNESS
And enters into SUFFERING
THAT’S OUR PATH AS WELL!!
WE DON’T WALK THAT PATH ALONE!!
JESUS WALKS IT WITH US!!
HE WALKED IT BEFORE US!!
HE WALKS IT WITH US BY GIVING US HIS HOLY SPIRIT!!
SO THAT WE ARE NEVER ALONE!!
So that we, in our weakness, are made STRONG
So that we, in our despair, NEVER GIVE UP HOPE
Paragraph 559 says, “He chooses the time and prepares the details for his messianic entry into the city…Jesus conquers the Daughter of Zion, a figure of his Church, neither by ruse nor by violence, but by the humility that bears witness to the truth.”
EVERY ONE OF US IS CALLED TO CHOOSE!!
THAT HUMILITY THAT BEARS WITNESS TO THE TRUTH!!
Every one of us wants to win, right?
Every one of us wants to get what we want, because that’s how life works
We want what we want
I want to get what I want
Jesus, his mission, to get what HE wants
WHICH IS YOUR HEART AND MY HEART!!
The way he goes about that is by GIVING
HE GETS BY GIVING!!
And even then, as we’ve heard,
When he does these miracles, people turn away
Even then when he shows the depths of his love on the Cross, WE CAN STILL TURN AWAY
“Ok, Lord. You are the Lord of Glory, and you entered into agony. You’re the Lord of power and you entered into shame. Help me to neither be afraid of agony or to be embarrassed by shame, but to cling to you, cling to you in your shame and your agony so as to live with you in your Resurrection and in your glory.”
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!