Matthew, Mark and Luke all tell us of a visionary kind of experience shared by three of Jesus’ most intimate disciples in a quiet spot on a mountain away from the crowds. It seemed to confirm, in their eyes, that Jesus’ authority, backed up by the Law and the Prophets, should be accepted and responded to as the voice of God: “This is my Son, the Beloved, with him I am well pleased; listen to him.” We all need confirmation that what we have heard and seen of Jesus is really of God because some of the things that people tell us about him are clearly not of God. That he set out to start a new religion, that his death was a sacrifice to appease the anger of God, that he represents a God of judgment and damnation, that he was a figment of people’s imagination, that he can be blamed for the wars and oppression that have taken place in his name: all of this makes us cry out for the real Jesus to stand up. They are not of God. For many of us the confirmation about who Jesus really is comes through the faith of others who place their trust in him, through the teaching and fellowship of the Church and its Scriptures, but above all confirmation comes through our on-going personal experience of living in a trusting relationship with him as a living presence, as the Spirit deep within. This experience may come in times of withdrawal as it did for those three disciples, or we may live with it as part of our on-going experience of daily life. Even the times of withdrawal and worship have to be followed by times spent with Christ in the hurly-burly of everyday life. There, over and over again, we may see confirmation that he is the Son of the One who creates in love, rescues and renews in love and reaches out through us to unite in love.
- Who, in the Transfiguration story, represents the Law and who represents the Prophets of ancient Israel?
- What do people say about Jesus and who he was?
- Have you had memorable experiences during times of solitude or retreat?
- What does Christ mean to you?