The Transfiguration of Jesus is the gateway to the Lenten season. Every year the 3 disciples (Peter, James and John) experience Jesus in his holy glory. Peter is the only disciple to speak. What Peter is doing is what we often do as humans. We have a great experience with God but instead of enjoying it and moving on we try to relive it. We try to hold on to the glory that is passed instead of longing for the glory that is to come. This thinking is what so often gets us out of sync with God. We tend to look at the glory of the past and try to hold on to the moments. We reminisce over how great things use to be. It’s like instead of letting ourselves get caught up in the flow of the stream of life in the Spirit we try to stop the stream from flowing. Building these shelters as Peter suggests would prolong this moment and prevent the progress of Jesus mission. This is our error: we constantly look to the splendor of the past when God is looking forward to the glory to come. We want to hold on to a passing moment instead of moving forward to the next one. We look back, Jesus is looking forward.
“While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.”
To show the disciples the error of this idea a cloud appeared, perhaps like the cloud that led the Israelites by day in Exodus. In Exodus the cloud was God leading Israel where He would have them go. It is wrong to try to hold on to the moments of the past. Holding on to the moments that are passing prevents us from moving on with the direction that Jesus is leading.
Out of the cloud came a voice saying the same thing that He said during Jesus baptism: This is my Son, whom I have chosen, whom I love. Then there is another phrase added: listen to Him. When the cloud lifted, and the disciples who had fallen down on their faces were once again able to look up, Jesus was standing there alone. His glory is revealed to us so that the world may come to see it through us. Jesus transforms us so that we can transform the world. Through love, grace, mercy, compassion, and kindness we reveal the love of God to the world. God’s glory is revealed to the world through us when we live, love, and look like Jesus by listening to Him and following His example.