* (This feast takes the place of the 18th Sunday of Year)
The gospel of this Sunday (Feast of the Transfiguration, Year A – Mt.17:1-9) presents us with a scene that is rather unusual in the life of Jesus.
It is no wonder that the apostles are startled and even Peter is lost for words.
The sight of Moses and Elijah present with Jesus – a Jesus so resplendent with light – is already an amazing apparition.
But suddenly there is more: the apostles are covered with a bright cloud and from within comes a voice.
Their reaction is immediate: “They fell on their faces overcome with fear.”
Throughout the Bible, this seems to be the spontaneous reaction of human beings when God comes close to them.
Strange but true: the proximity of God which should be a source of comfort and security is experienced as overwhelming and frightening…
Today’s gospel text goes on saying:
“Jesus came and touched them and said, ‘Do not be afraid’.”
It is said that these very words (or their equivalent: “Fear not”) is repeated 365 times in the Bible.
Yes, as many times as there are days in the year!
It appears that it is a lesson we have never finished learning – not to fear anything, and especially NOT God’s close presence!
God’s people throughout their history, God’s friends and God’s messengers – all needed to learn it:
Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Mary: Jesus’ mother herself, Jesus’ disciples, the apostle Paul, to mention but a few.
Perhaps… our own names could be listed as well for we share the same need, do we not?…
Source: Images: Pinterest, tapistryministry,org