"We Have Seen His Glory"
Robert P. Imbelli August 6, 2013 - 8:47am
In preparing homilies or practicing lectio divina, one of the helpful aids is a "Synopsis of the Four Gospels." The Gospel for today's Feast of the Transfiguration is a central event in the narratives of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The contours are recognizably the same, yet there are telling differences in detail.
As is well known, Luke's account specifies that Jesus ascended the mountain "to pray;" and that "while praying," his face changed in appearance. Luke also gives the subject of Jesus' conversation with Moses and Elijah: "the exodus that he would accomplish in Jerusalem."
Significantly, John's Gospel does not recount the Transfiguration event. Rather, the entire Fourth Gospel depicts the Transfigured Jesus. From the opening chapter the author confesses: "We have seen his Glory, the Glory as of the only Son from the Father" (Jn 1:14).
If we are among those who confess to glimpsing that Glory, then the concluding prayer of today's festal liturgy resonates: "May the heavenly nourishment we have received, O Lord, transform us into the likeness of your Son, whose resplendent splendor you willed to make manifest in his glorious Transfiguration."
About the Author
Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is an associate professor of theology at Boston College.