Jesus is the Son of God; Let us Listen to Him

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, Year A

Fr. Jim homily

4 minute read


Dn. 7:9-10, 13-14; Ps. 97; 2 Pt. 1:16-19; Mt. 17:1-9

Jesus says, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” Jesus charges his closest disciples, Peter, James, and John, to keep the revelation of his transfiguration to themselves until after his Resurrection. Why? Because what was shown to them as proof of Jesus’ divinity would become for them a powerful testimony to evangelize others. We see how Peter uses his testimony in our second reading when he says, “we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty…when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory, ‘This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’” While the voice of the Father terrified them, Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” Even in Jesus’ own words of consolation do we hear the foreshadowing of his Resurrection. He tells them, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” Why? Because as followers of Christ they have already risen with him through Baptism; and while they were crippled by fear, the revelation of the truth sets them free. And the truth revealed by the transfiguration of our Lord is that he is both God and man–the Son of God, and the Son of man. In Christ the fullness of Divinity and Humanity resides such that he is fully man, while fully divine.

The Book of Daniel provides a fantastic description of the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven, receiving dominion, glory, and kingship. Daniel’s vision is a premonition of Jesus’ own ascension into heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Father. All peoples, nations, and languages serve him, for he makes all things new. From the preaching of the apostles the Church went out to all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, just as has been done for all of us. For we, as members of Christ’s Church follow after the preaching of the apostles, whose message goes out to all the world.

The message of the apostles is one of unity in Christ. St. Peter says, “[W]e possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” This morning star is an image of the Sun which rises and sets on all people. It is also an image of the truth of Christ. That truth, which dwells within each of us through the preaching of the apostles, and indeed their successors, directs our hearts and minds to God.

The words of Jesus are eternal. Some people may scoff at the notion of following after some ancient gospel, but this gospel is the word of God. It is as relevant today as it was back then because these words speak to the heart. And if our heart is open to Christ, we will absorb his teaching and do as the Magi did after they encountered the baby Jesus, they departed for their country by another way. In other words, they stopped following the stars because they had indeed encountered the only star that matters, the morning star, who is Christ rising in our hearts.

Indeed Christ is rising in the hearts of the faithful. Why else have more and more people been finding their way back to church? Maybe the lockdown restrictions were a blessing in disguise? Maybe people did not realize what they were missing until they were forced to go without. Whatever the reason, I have encountered many people all gravitating to the church saying how something has been missing from their life. And we who seek Christ do as St. Peter says, we hold fast to the prophetic message as to a lamp in a dark place, because the world as of late has been very dark, yet our life in Christ shines like the Sun.

And so, as the Lord has revealed his glory to his apostles, may we also gaze upon him in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. And may the communion we share help us to hold fast to the prophetic message of the apostles, keeping us rooted in the Word of God—the words of salvation and grace. And may we who remain in Christ be a light in the darkness of this world, leading others to Jesus, of whom the Father says, “This is my beloved Son…listen to him.”

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