Friday, November 6, 2020

Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary: The Transfiguration


As we were praying the Luminous Mysteries together as a family last night, I was reminded, I owe you all a meditation 🤗, for the 4th Luminous Mystery, the Transfiguration. Jesus goes up on the mountain with 3 of His disciples: Peter, James, and John, in His ordinary clothes and appearance, and then all of a sudden He is transfigured before them, bathed in a glorious light, talking to people from heaven (Moses and Elijah). 

A few years ago I started searching for and saving art for us to meditate on as a family while praying the rosary in our family room (shared on our Apple T.V.). I try to save several representations of 1 mystery to add variety, but this is easily my favorite rendition of the transfiguration I have seen. It is by Jacques Joseph Tissot, a French painter from the 19th century. There is so much light emanating from Jesus, it appears that every other part of the painting that is light, gets its source from Him. Jesus almost seems to be not of this world, but yet, He is so close to them, and reaching out even still. The apostles are all responding to it a little differently, all in adoration on their knees, but one covering his ears, one covering his eyes, and Peter (middle) just flat out gaping in awe. 

Here is what this mystery and painting make me think about. God doesn’t need us. This is not an opportunity for Him to prove Himself to His disciples. He is more magnificent, more powerful, and more glorious than we will ever be able to understand or comprehend. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us. And He chooses to reveal Himself to us. In all our brokenness, in our awkwardness, our inability to comprehend His greatness, He keeps revealing Himself, and even giving us the grace to know Him better. 

My favorite part about this story, is that Peter, not thinking, blurts out about how maybe they should set up sone tents commemorating the event? God the Father speaking over him says “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him!” I can almost see the exchange of a look between the Father and the Son, maybe smiling and saying “We love our Peter. He makes us laugh. He will make a great pope some day.” But see how God loves us? That He would share His glory with us?! His Beauty and Majesty? His greatness? And are we in fact, on our knees in adoration? So much in shock, we stumble over our words? Cover our face in wonder? Are we? 

And where is He, you might ask, that I might adore Him? He is hidden under the appearance of a little white host in every tabernacle in every Catholic Church in the world (See John 6). He is present in Holy Scripture when you hear it proclaimed, and when you read it and let it penetrate your heart. He is present in your heart when you let Him in. When you quiet the noise around you, and make yourself aware of Him there. He is present in the poor, in the needy you may be privileged to serve. He is present to you every day, everywhere, in every circumstance. Even if only in your heart, bow the knee, be in awe, and just gaze at Him. 

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