Homily from Matthew 17:1-9
I have heard the account of the Transfiguration many, many times in my life but I did not really know what it all meant.
We know that Jesus went up the mountain with three of his disciples, his appearance changed while being visited by Moses and Elijah. The disciples heard a voice coming from the clouds saying, ‘This is my beloved Child, with whom I am well pleased; to this one you shall listen.” I didn’t see beyond the words that were given in this gospel, so I prayed for guidance to understand the meaning.
What the apostles saw was Jesus’ face shining like the sun and his garments becoming brilliant but what they did not see was the brilliance came from within Jesus. At that moment, the Heavenly Father taught Jesus to look at the world in God’s eyes. It was the power of God’s love that changed him. He was still an ordinary man but God gave him the power to heal people, understand people at the root of their feelings…their makeup. He saw his purpose was to teach God’s love, and to teach people to be on a higher mind. It was to open people’s minds and open their hearts. Jesus saw and understood the depth of God’s love for all of us.
Jesus had the gift of understanding. We are asked to understand with our heart not just with our minds. People
have their own opinions, they perceive things differently and we are to respect their opinions even if it doesn’t coincide
with what we think. How many times do we try to change another’s person’s opinion to the point of getting angry.
Jesus went from town to town telling whoever would listen about the love God has for them. He did not yell at them with his information but gave it with love for he understood where the individuals were coming from. He did not take things personally if people did not listen to him. He now asks us to not stand in judgment of another’s belief but to search our own soul and try to understand. I now have to start asking myself, “Why am I imposing my will on someone else?” It is necessary for us to be kind to others even, if at times, it seems impossible.
In my work, I so often meet people who don’t see God’s hand in their lives. It reminds me of a story about a man who had the experience of being lost in the desert: Later, he described his ordeal to his friends. He told them how, in sheer despair, he had knelt down and cried out to God to help him find his way home.
“Did God answer your prayer’s,” he was asked.
“Oh no,” the man replied, “Before God could help, an explorer appeared and showed me the way home.”
We don’t always take the time to see God’s work in our daily lives but God is truly with us always. No matter what.
During the time of the Transfiguration, Jesus saw all of God’s creatures, and really understood that all are to be honored and respected and that not one is mightier than another. We are all connected to God. The connection is never lost. God holds on to every single one of us even if we shut God out.
It is hard for me to totally comprehend the magnitude of what Jesus saw through God’s eyes but it is clear to me that I am to make a daily effort to try and understand another person’s view-point and their way of doing things without judgment.
Jesus saw people with his heart and did not impose his views on others for he was able to let it go. What a better world we would have to live in if we all took the time to understand another human being’s point of view before getting angry. Jesus would like us to try, for it is in the trying that we can change.
Jesus lived so we can see God’s love through him. He lived that love, and we are asked to do the best we can without any judgment. Transfiguration — well, we have that light within us, all we are to do is to let it shine.