August 6, 2020 – Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light. (Matthew 17:1-9)
There are several Scripture passages on my Fly-on-the-Wall list — those passages that lead me to say, “Wow, I would love to have been a fly on the wall for that!”
Today’s account of the Feast of the Transfiguration is such a passage. Peter, James, and John went up the mountain with Jesus. While there, they saw His face turn dazzling white, and suddenly Moses and Elijah were there, too. As if that wasn’t already sensory overload, God spoke from the clouds, affirming that Jesus was His Son.
The passage ends with Jesus telling them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone…” Well of course they weren’t going to tell anyone! Who would have believed them?
But wouldn’t you love to have been a fly on the wall when the three of them talked about it amongst themselves?
“Now, this is what I saw. Is that what you saw?”
“Someone talked…it sounded like it came from the clouds. That was God, right?”
“The voice said, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” I don’t know about you, but I’m going to listen!”
What a gift these disciples were given, to be there on the day of the Transfiguration and with Jesus throughout His ministry on earth – to see the story unfold firsthand, to hear the Word of God as it was spoken.
The gift the disciples received was a gift that keeps on giving. When we go to Mass, we come together as disciples of Christ. We hear His divinely inspired Word in the reading of Scripture. We experience His real presence in the Eucharist.
Every Sunday, we are given the same gift the disciples were given on the mountain that day. The only difference seems to be our response to the experience. The disciples were awestruck, left speechless by what they saw. I fear we often take for granted what we experience in the Mass.
I want to be a fly on the wall on the day a congregation leaves the church fully embracing all that the Mass has to offer.
They will look a bit dazed, awestruck even, but incredibly joyful. And they will likely be mumbling to one another, “Did you see what I saw?”