Commentary on the Gospel of

Carol Zuegner - Creighton University's Journalism Department


Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord




I like to imagine what this life was like for the apostles. They certainly knew Jesus was a special man, one who could lead them and preach. The apostles could watch the crowds around Jesus; they could hear the lessons of love and forgiveness. There were miracles: sick people healed, the loaves and fishes. What I need to remember is that the apostles knew Jesus as a man. He walked the dusty roads with them, ate with them, likely joked and laughed with them. It was that God part that they sometimes struggled with. They had faith in Jesus, but I am not sure their imaginations were quite as broad or high or deep for the concept of Jesus as God to sink in.  They tried to figure it out. I like this Gospel of the Transfiguration because this certainly wasn’t business as usual. Jesus takes the apostles to the mountain and appears as God with Moses and Elijah. Peter’s response: Let’s build some tents. Soon, the vision is gone and as Jesus and the apostles descend the mountain, the apostles are told to keep it quiet until the Son of Man had risen. I can see the furrowed brows and quizzical looks as the apostles tried to figure out the Son of Man risen part as they climbed down the mountain.

In my time, I feel perhaps opposite from the apostles. I know Jesus as God and the Son of Man. Removed from that time and place, I have a harder time imagining the man part. The key, I think, is to broaden and lift my own imagination and my own faith to see Jesus as God and man, to come to an understanding of the depth of his love and God’s love for us, that he would become man and then die for our sins. I need the faith of the apostles to live with my difficulty sometimes of wrapping my brain and heart around all of this. Let my faith and my imagining follow what today’s second reading suggests:

"You do well to be attentive to it
As a lamp shining in a dark place,
Until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts."

I pray for that lamp to lead me through the dark place and for the morning light.



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