Isn’t it amazing what can happen in a relationship when one sees another in an entirely new light?
Being with my wife during childbirth was such an experience for me. I saw a strength and courage in her I had never realized was there and it was awesome to me. We were carried to a new level in our bond with each other through that experience. I saw her in a new light.
A silly incident disrupted a friendship with a person who was like a brother to me. For months we were estranged and did not speak. Then, a time came when we were both involved in an event from which neither of us could gracefully escape. He was experiencing a serious physical problem at the time and was walking in procession just ahead of me. I saw him take the arm of the clergyman who was walking beside him to steady himself as pain ran through his body. My cold heart melted and I felt enormous compassion and concern for my friend. The next day we had lunch and never again did we let anything interfere with our friendship. We saw each other in a new light.
A young man was assessed a stiff penalty after his third DUI offense. Someone close to him recog-nized what was happening and confronted him at the risk of their relationship. It was the most loving thing to do. She saw her friend in a new light and, because she did, helped him to see and accept the truth. He decided to remove alcohol from the position of supreme commander of his life.
Peter, James, and John were the inner circle of disciples. They probably knew Jesus better than anyone. That’s why he took them with him to the holy mountain. When they looked at him, they saw the shining glory of God enveloping him and they witnessed a metamorphosis. They recognized two other figures standing with Jesus; Moses the lawgiver and Elijah the prophet. Suddenly they realized something about Jesus they hadn’t understood before: Both the law and the prophets pointed to God’s Messiah and Jesus, their rabbi and friend, is that Messiah. Perhaps Jesus understood his mission in a new way as he heard the voice of God saying, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am well pleased – listen to him.”
After they came down from that mountain, Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem and the cross. What he and his disciples had experienced gave them the new perspective to bear what lay ahead of them.
The Transfiguration is a story about transition. Anytime we see in a new light, something within us changes. We, too, need those epiphanies when God helps us to see people, places, events, and circumstances in a new light.