Yesterday I spoke of the fears and doubts that can sometimes beset us when we come upon difficult times. Today, we are reminded not only that we are never alone, but we are reminded that God is glorious and can give us great signs to help us to know God is with us. Such is the case with the scene we have in the gospel.
While it is true that Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus is also fully human, experience everything we do except sin. To that end, Jesus had to spend time discerning the Father’s will, and it is only natural that he might have struggled with the question of whether or not he was on the right path. We certainly know that his disciples struggled with this question.
How often do they fail to recognize what type of Messiah the Christ is? How often do they fail to recognize in the life of Jesus and in his actions the true meaning of them? Over and over again. So, the Transfiguration stands as a dramatic confirmation that Jesus is following the right path. God the Father is not quoted as saying much in the gospels, but ironically, most often he is telling us that he finds his son pleasing. He finds the work of Jesus, his will, to result in pleasing endeavors.
If God the Father is pleased with his Son, then we would be well served to seek to imitate him. Not in a robotic kind of way, but rather in a way that brings our best selves forward. If we were truly the persons God created to be, St. Catherine of Siena tells us, we would set the world ablaze. In everything Jesus did he was who he was supposed to be. As a result, more than two thousand years later, we are still seeking Jesus, we are still remembering and proclaiming what he said and what he did, we are still gathering around the table of the Lord to receive his body and blood.
We must allow ourselves, though, to be led by Jesus to the mountaintop, recognizing that the path may seem unclear, and the destination uncertain. But if we imitate the faithful trust of Jesus in the will of the Father, the Father will be well pleased with us too.