The Transfiguration: Reflecting on Luke 9: 28-36

By Sean Montgomery
Painting by Peter Paul Rubens
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons


Jesus took Peter, John, and James 
and went up the mountain to pray.
While he was praying his face changed in appearance 
and his clothing became dazzling white.
And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, 
who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus 
that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, 
but becoming fully awake, 
they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, 
“Master, it is good that we are here;
let us make three tents,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But he did not know what he was saying.
While he was still speaking, 
a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, 
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
Then from the cloud came a voice that said, 
“This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
They fell silent and did not at that time 
tell anyone what they had seen.


Every day, God makes his presence known to us in many different ways. Some are more profound than others. It may be a simple act of kindness, the beauty that we see in nature, or an answered prayer. Often times, we experience God’s grace when we are least expecting it.

In today’s gospel reading about the Transfiguration, Luke mentions that “Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him” (Luke 9:32). Many times, Jesus acts as a wake-up call to us when we need it most. The Transfiguration was a special event in which God allowed Peter, John, and James to experience His divine glory in a profound way, and it strengthened their faith.

When God reveals himself to us in our daily lives, we are called to act as disciples and live out his message. We are called to open up our hearts to those who need it most, to lend a helping hand, and to be good neighbors. For me, that may mean helping a friend with a paper, calling a friend I haven’t seen in awhile to see how they’re doing, or volunteering at a soup kitchen. When Jesus is seemingly not present in our lives, we are called to open up our eyes and seek him out.

I recently returned from Catholic Campus Ministry’s annual Search Retreat, during which I had the opportunity to step away from the hustle and bustle of a busy college student’s life and found the time to grow closer with my peers. God revealed himself to me throughout the entire retreat through the relationships that I formed and the experience that I had. It is important to step back and find God in our busy lives, and sometimes that requires taking a break to slow down to give ourselves the opportunity to be revealed to Him. To put it Ferris Bueller’s way: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”