First Reading: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
As I watched: Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on his head as white as wool; his throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire. A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat; Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him. The court was convened and the books were opened. As the visions during the night continued, I saw: One like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, The one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 97:1-2, 5-6, 9
The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth. The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice; let the many islands be glad. Clouds and darkness are round about him, justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the LORD of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his justice, and all peoples see his glory. Because you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth, exalted far above all gods.
Second Reading: 2 Peter 1:16-19
Beloved: We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory, “This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain. Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
Gospel: Mark 9:2-10
Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Picture this: The show is over. It’s the end of another evening at the theater. The audience has left and the house lights and stage lights are turned off. The large, empty space is filled with darkness minus a single, uncovered bulb lit on a lamp stand in the middle of the stage. It’s a remarkable sight really, the contrast of darkness and light never starker. This “ghost light” will remain on through the night until someone comes in the next day to illuminate the theater once more.
It’s this image that came to my mind when I read Saint Peter’s words: “Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
Then in the gospel we hear the story of Jesus’s transfiguration. His clothes are described as dazzling white, a brilliance we can only begin to imagine. This is my beloved Son, God says. Listen to Him. Listen.
My senses are struck: The visual image of Christ’s brightness, seeing Christ as Light. The command from God to listen to Jesus. Yet how often in my relationship with Christ do I use these senses? How often do I do much more than talk at the Lord, listing off my intentions, concerns, and requests? I don’t know about you, but I fail to listen. I fail to make the time and space to retreat to the mountaintop, so to speak. I fail to see His Light in those around me. God wants more for us, sisters. As His beloved daughters, He wants to transfigure our hearts that we might become more like His Son. That we might be a glimmer of light in the darkness for those around us. That we might shine brighter and brighter until we too are dazzling white.
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Join me in praying: Open my eyes Lord, help me to see your face. Open my ears Lord, that I might hear your voice. And then take the time to be still, that God might begin to transfigure your heart.
Elise Howe is a devoted wife, new momma, and musician currently living in NYC, though she will always be a midwestern gal at heart. You can find out more about her here.