If, like me, you got an ‘O’ Level in English Language, you will know there are two key elements to just about every story: the plot (what happened) and the interpretation (why it happened). Well, the account of Our Lord’s Transfiguration has a very dramatic what: three Apostles witnessed Our Lord’s heavenly glory. But what about the why?
There are many ways to answer this question, but one important answer is that this event shows that God has a perfect plan. In fact, in his version of the story, Saint Luke tells us that while he was transfigured, Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah about this plan, the “exodus” that Jesus “was going to accomplish in Jerusalem”. God had a plan for his creation: to save us through his own death on the Cross. The Crucifixion wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t a mistake. It was part of God’s intention all along—all so that we could be set free from sin.
The Transfiguration also confirms God’s love for us. The imagery of the Transfiguration shows Jesus as a kind of “bridge” between heaven and earth. He is the Beloved Son who pleases his Father and brings salvation to the world. Speaking with Israel’s heroes of old, Jesus is also the bridge between God’s covenant with his chosen people and his new covenant with us.
By telling us that Our Lord’s clothes became “white as light” and that his face “shone like the sun,” Saint Matthew also shows us that Jesus transcends the human limitations that we all experience. He shows us that Jesus truly is God with us.
Through this dramatic story, we can see that God is in control of his creation. He knows what’s going on in our lives and he has a plan for us, even if we do have to endure a few crosses along the way.