transfiguration, transformation

BY JOAN ROSENHAUER | March 8, 2020
Second Sunday of Lent
Today’s Readings
Reflexión en Español

What a powerful message the story of the transfiguration is about our belief in Jesus Christ. He is human, walking up the mountain and talking with his disciples. Then, all of a sudden, he begins beaming light and Moses and Elijah appear. The disciples are given a glimpse of Christ’s divine nature, and the Father instructs them to “listen to him.” Note that God didn’t say “honor him” or “worship him,” but “listen to him.” 

What does it mean for us to recognize Christ’s humanity and divinity? What does it mean to “listen to him” today? For me, this includes listening to Christ’s call to recognize him in human beings, especially those in greatest need. It means transforming lives to build a world of justice and peace. 

transfiguration, transformation

At Jesuit Refugee Service, I have many opportunities to affirm my belief in the divine and human Christ as I recognize him in the people we serve all over the world. A few years ago, I visited JRS projects in Greece, an entry point for refugees and asylum seekers into Europe. We visited an old warehouse where rooms had been propped up to create temporary shelters. It was heartbreaking to see the circumstances in which families were living, and in the absence of formal programs, we brought out paper and colored pencils. In minutes, children who had experienced the trauma of forced displacement were transformed into happy, laughing children. They colored and drew pictures, they engaged their dads who started a paper airplane competition, and, for at least a short time, we were all transformed as brothers and sisters. 

The story of the transfiguration is a challenge to each of us to recognize Christ in our brothers and sisters, listen to his teaching, and help transform a world in need of his love. How does this happen in your life?

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