During our Lenten journey, we continue to see the play between light & darkness that the Church uses in our Scripture readings at Mass.
The Transfiguration story is told early on during Lent. When St. Thomas Aquinas reflects on the Transfiguration, he speaks of ‘the “light” or the “glory” that envelops Christ during the Transfiguration. It “shines.” Why have people, trans-historically and trans-culturally, associated holiness with light? Well, light is that by which we see, that which illumines and clarifies. But at bottom it is the fact that light is beautiful. Beautiful things shine. Aquinas says that Jesus, at the Transfiguration, began to shine with the radiance of heaven so as to entrance us with the prospect of our own transfiguration.‘
Our journey, both through Lent & through life, may at times seem dark. However, Christ is the light, Who shows us the way to our true destination – eternal life with Him.
Fr. Barron in his reflection on the Transfiguration, summarizes St. Thomas, by noting that Jesus is transfigured so as to show us what our ultimate goal/ our ultimate destination is. We can not be motivated, or inspired to achieve our highest potential if we don’t know what it is, or where we are going.
“At the Transfiguration, Moses was there representing the law and Elijah was there representing the prophets. But why were Peter, James, and John present? And what does this event mean to us today?”
“As he makes his way toward the cross, Jesus accordingly allows, for a brief time, his glory to shine through, the radiance of his divinity to appear. We are not meant finally for this world. This event is meant to awaken our sense of wonder at the world to come.”
How often do you reflect (with a sense of wonder) on the world to come? Are you preparing, every day, for this life that will not end, with Christ? We have the promise of life, light, & love without end. Allow yourself to meditate with wonder and anticipation on that for which we were created -