In the Bible Abraham and Peter are clear examples of faith. God offered Abraham a promise of a family, and Abraham said yes in faith to his future family, though he and his wife were extravagantly beyond the age. All he had to cling on to was the word of God, a word in which he had complete trust. Peter had already come to a level of faith. He has acknowledged Jesus as the Christ and had been told about carrying the cross as a condition of being a disciple. Now, his faith receives a strengthening, and a challenge, for the moment of transfiguration is also a call to taking part in a new exodus. Graces such as the transfiguration are given for a mission.
At times we go through moments of darkness in our personal, family, or social life and we fear there is no way out. We feel frightened before great enigmas such as illness, innocent pain, or the mystery of death. In the same journey of faith, we often stumble, encountering the scandal of the cross and the demands of the Gospel, which calls us to spend our life in service and to lose it in love, rather that preserve it for ourselves and protect it. Thus, we need a different outlook, a light that illuminates the mysteries of life in depth and helps us to move beyond our paradigms and beyond the criteria of this world. We too are called to climb up the mountain, to contemplate the beauty of the Risen One that enkindles glimmers of light in every fragment of our life and helps us to interpret history beginning with the paschal victory.
Let us be careful, however: That feeling of Peter that ‘it is well that we are here’ must not become spiritual laziness. We cannot remain on the mountain and enjoy the bliss of this encounter on our own. Jesus himself brings us back to the valley, among our brothers and sisters and into daily life. We must be aware of spiritual laziness: we are fine, with our prayers and liturgies, and this is enough for us. No! Going up the mountain does not mean forgetting reality; praying never means avoiding the difficulties in life; the light of faith in not meant to provide beautiful spiritual feelings. No, this is not Jesus’ message. We are called to experience the encounter with Christ so that, enlightened by his light, we might take it and make it shine everywhere. (Pope Francis)
Canon Francis Brown