Selected Verse: 2-3 “…There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.”
In Mark 9 we read about the Transfiguration of Jesus. As Christians, we are also destined to be transfigured, just as Jesus was transfigured. Another word for transfigure is transform. This might be an easier word to help us understand what this text is saying to us. When a person is transformed there is a development taking place within him or her which changes him and makes him new. New in behaviour, new in attitude, new in action, etc. We are called to become new in Christ. But what does such a transformation look like and how does it happen? What does becoming new in Christ mean?
In Mark 9:2-3 we read “…there he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.” The emphasis of this text is not so much on the colour of Jesus’ clothes, whether it was white or pink or blue, but that His clothes became so bright that it shone like a light around him. His whole body became light. And Peter, James and John came to understand that it was the glory of God that shone from him because they heard God say, “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.”
Jesus knew that He was the son of God. And our transformation starts there. That we know that we are the sons and daughters of God. That we deeply know this. When we know and live this, then our bodies become irrelevant. We all have wounded bodies in some way or another. We are wounded either physically or emotionally. Our scars are there. Visible or invisible. And it will always be there. None of us will ever be perfect in body. But all of us will always have God dwell within our bodies. God is close to us and nothing can separate us from his love. God knows our own bodies, better than we know it ourselves. He knows the strengths and weaknesses and every little desire we have. It is His. How good, consoling and reassuring it is to know this.
Becoming new in Christ means to “know Him”, to “think like Him”, to “act like Him”, to “love Him” and to allow Him to take possession of our lives and change them. This is being a Christian. And we cannot just set this fact in a corner of the room and ignore it most of the time. It implies a relationship with God that is deepened daily through prayer, through reading and reflecting on Scripture, and through loving acts of charity.
When we are faithful to this, our hearts, minds and bodies, no matter how wounded, will heal. This is when we experience the transforming love of God. This is when the Transfiguration of Christ makes sense to us. This is when we receive the strength to be Christian. To be like Christ to others around us.
And through our personal transformation we transform society. We can then heal our collective wounds of indifference. We can heal our poverty of spirit. We can heal the sickness of discrimination. We can heal the evil of gender based violence. We can heal our wounds of apathy for the poor and afflicted. We can make the glory of God shine in our society today just like Peter, James and John experienced it high up on the mountain with Jesus. And God will be well pleased and say ‘this is my beloved son, this is my beloved daughter, this is my beloved society’.
To Think About: Do I believe that God dwells within this imperfect body of mine and uses it to bring his Light to the world?