Anne O’Brien, Director of Mission at St Agnes’ Catholic Parish, reads and reflects on today’s Gospel from Mark (9: 2-10) as we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
Before reading the Gospel, Anne explains that the Transfiguration of the Lord refers to a mysterious event during which Jesus is transfigured, or changed, in the presence of three of his disciples – Peter, James and John. Moses and Elijah, two Old Testament figures representing the Law and the Prophets, appear and converse with Jesus. This event highlights Jesus’s divinity and glory that was hidden from the world but is now revealed to his closest disciples. Jesus is the fulfillment and completion of the Old Testament promises. This brief glimpse into Jesus’s hidden power, divinity and glory will be fully revealed in the Resurrection once the journey of suffering and death has been accomplished.
Anne reflects that in the Transfiguration light shone, not on to, but out of the Lord. It streamed from his presence just as the prophet, Daniel, described in his vision. It shone out through the weave of his clothing, making the very fabric gleam. We live in an age where Christ and his teaching may be less well known to many, yet his light will never be extinguished. What we know of him is a trusty torch, St Peter tells us; a torch lighting our way until we behold him face to face.
We see the glory of God reflected in the grandeur of the natural world and in the goodness of people, but for those in whom the spirit of Jesus makes a home, light radiates from within; it glows in their faces and sparkles in their eyes. Yes, however sometimes though dimly, we can shine, too; we can be that torch; we can have that sparkle in our face and in our eyes.
Anne says, let’s think today how we can be that face and that sparkle which shines from us to others; to those around us; to the people we work with, to our friends and to our family.
Anne concludes with this prayer:
You reveal your glory to us in so many ways. Help us to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and do our best to protect it. Above all, may we glimpse your splendour in the people we meet and respect them as they deserve and be a shining light of your presence to others and those we spend time with. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen