Have you ever been to a place or event that you did not want to leave? You are either having such a great time or you are moved emotionally with joy that you just do not want it to end. I imagine that is what Peter was feeling on this mountain top. He did not want the experience to end. He had been lost and after following Jesus he begins to realize who Christ truly is. Why would anyone want the opportunity of being in the glorified Lord’s presence to end? This scene takes place after Peter hears Jesus tell him and the other Apostles, Jesus will have to suffer and die before He comes into His glory. When Peter tells Jesus this should not happen, Jesus comes down hard on Peter telling him, “get behind me Satan!” This is difficult for the Apostles to understand, so Jesus decides to plant the seed of hope in them. He takes Peter, the future leader of the Church; James, the first Apostle to die for following Christ and John, the Apostle who will reveal the Final Revelation of the Lord, up to a mountain and gives them this gift of the vision of His Transfiguration. Our Lord wanted to show them that the pain and suffering He will go through will not be for nothing. It has a great reward. This vision of Christ will also help them in spreading the word of who Jesus is.
As Jesus is transfigured, the Apostles see Him in conversation with Moses and Elijah. Peter is so moved he makes the suggestion that they build three tents. This is where the story goes full Old Testament. We are on a mountain. Moses and Elijah are there. A bright cloud surrounds them, and God’s voice comes from it. “This is my beloved Son, with who I am well pleased. Listen to Him.” Now God the Father could have said, “This is Moses follow his laws” or he could have said, “this is Elijah, heed his prophesy.” What He says instead is, “listen to my Son.” The law and prophesy from the Old Testament revealing that Jesus is the author and fulfillment of both. This revelation of who Jesus is transfigures the apostles. Jesus has a mission for them. They are not meant to stay on that mountain top in honor of Jesus. They need to use this experience not only to prepare for what they are about to experience in Christ’s Passion and death but also to go out into the world to preach the Gospel. They need to go out and help others transform themselves into the likeness of Christ. We are all called to do the same. We need to let others know we all have the opportunity and ability to be glorified in, through and with Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
May Jesus live in your heart forever,