05 August 2017

A MOMENT OF GRACE

THE TRANSFIGURATION
daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; 2 peter 1:16-19; matthew 17:1-9

eric carle is an author and illustrator of children’s books; the most popular of these is «the very hungry caterpillar». carle recalls that he was a painfully shy six-year-old when the world of story-telling opened for him:
«when i was six, the world seemed a cold and confusing place, except for one thing—a picture of a cityscape at night that faced my bed: red brick buildings with darkened windows, except for one exploding with the joyful colours of a christmas tree. every night i fell asleep comforted by the warmth of that bright tree in the dark night. the picture was the work of an art director at my father’s job.
once, my father took me to work. i was so shy i could barely speak. the art director smiled, opened the drawer of his drafting table… a treasure of coloured drawing pencils, and said: ‘you can use them all.’ 
i had no language for what i felt. today i would call it grace.»


for jesus and the three apostles, the transfiguration was a moment of grace.
the transfiguration confirmed for jesus his identity as son of GOD and his saving mission (through his death and resurrection); provided him another affirmation of his father’s love; gave him a foretaste of his glory; and strengthened him for his journey to jerusalem and calvary.
matthew’s account takes place six days after jesus’ first predicted his passion and stated his condition for discipleship—taking up their cross. the twelve had thought the glory days were coming. jesus had fed the five thousand and the four thousand. then came this downer. at jesus’ transfiguration, peter, james and john realise that this is no carpenter; this is no preacher or healer or miracle-worker; this is GOD! as the disciples will later understand, the transfiguration is a powerful sign that the forthcoming events in jerusalem are indeed GOD’s will for his son.

we all have moments of grace: in prayer, in encounters with significant people, in key life events… GOD is present within us to enlighten and guide us, to affirm that we are his daughters and sons, to confirm his will for us. 
today, let me recall some of these! do i see these as «transfiguring» moments? do i allow GOD’s grace to transfigure sadness into joy, despair into hope, fear into faith and courage, alienation and isolation into communion?