A radiant Messiah, an out-of-body experience, time-traveling superstars from the past, and talking clouds—the transfiguration is one of the most memorable stories in Scripture. We know this story: Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up the mountain, where he is transfigured right before their eyes.
So often, we approach growing in our faith as something we have to do. We say, “I need to be more kind and generous to people, especially to the poor. I need to get to Mass more often.” To a certain extent, this is true. Growing in faith does require a change in the way we think and act. But that is only part of it.
There is another side to the equation— God’s side. We need his grace. And that grace can move mountains! At the transfiguration, Jesus, the divine Son of God, wanted to give his disciples a glimpse of his glory before he entered into his passion. He wanted to help them grow in their faith, just as he wants to help us.
The mystics of the Church, saints like Bernard of Clairvaux, Catherine of Siena, and Teresa of Ávila, remind us that words fail when we perceive even the slightest glimpse of the glory of God. Just as Peter rattled on excitedly, we can find ourselves reaching for the right words to describe what God’s presence feels like. But that’s okay. Our actions—the witness of our peace and our joy—can speak much louder than our words.
So dwell on this great Mystery of Light today. Imagine the glorified Jesus appearing before you. Let his love, his majesty, and his mercy render you speechless. Let him remind you that your faith is not just a matter of what you have to do. Let him remind you that he is always pouring out divine grace, always revealing his love. And that revelation can soften even the hardest of hearts.