Letters to Jesus (Transcendence and Contemplation)-4
Sunday’s gospel was about the transfiguration. While scripture documents it with witnesses as an historical event, it also serves as a fitting metaphor for what should take place in our own lives. Like the ugly duckling who becomes a swan, we have the capability of transforming our flawed and fault-prone nature into something beautiful with which the Father is well-pleased. Such a transfiguration in our lives is a labor of ongoing proportions but, with Your grace, it is that to which we are called. Transfiguration is the destiny meant for us even though we are quite capable of turning our backs on it.
Implicit in the notion of transfiguration is the idea that I am a being becoming – right up to and including the day I die. This ongoing becoming is influenced by the people and events in our daily lives, by what we read and study, and, most of all, by what we learn of love. We are transformed and, ultimately, transfigured by these things.
The hinge pin of transfiguration is change. When we seek and accept the process by which we change the focus and direction of our becoming away from the material and sentient toward the spiritual attraction of love, we are transfigured. Sustaining this in a material and sentient atmosphere must be impossible. Even Your transfiguration on the mountain, while dazzling, was brief. The world militates against such an event. Its climax cannot happen here. But flashes of selfless love preview climactic transfiguration. This is gift. With Your grace we may be allowed to unwrap that gift here and now one corner at a time. But the wrapping doesn’t come totally off till later.
In the spiritual life the prefix “trans-“ is a very meaningful one. As we learn to transcend the physical world around us, we transform our being and it is transfigured. The crossing from one state of being or level of consciousness to another is characteristic of such transit. It was Your Father’s will that You be transfigured before the eyes of men and that they be overcome with the joys of its possibilities.