Every day the sun rises and the sun sets, yet most of us take it for granted; we do not even notice. Yet I am sure that all of us can remember a particular sunrise or sunset, one that was particularly beautiful or just meaningful to us, even it it was years ago. Maybe it was part of a romantic get away with that someone special. Maybe it was during a dark time of our lives, and it was the sign of light in that darkness. It was in the beauty of that particular sunrise or sunset that we truly saw the sun for what it is.
In today’s second reading, St. Peter is remember such a special moment. It had been many years early, and in a now far away land, but St. Peter could still vividly recall that singular moment of beauty when Jesus was Transfigured before him, James and John. The Apostles already knew that there was something special about Jesus; that was why they followed Him. Peter himself had already made his great proclamation, “You are the Christ, the Son of God,” yet they still did not fully appreciate who Jesus was. Then, on that holy mountain, the glory of Christ Jesus was displayed to Peter, James and John and in that beauty they realized the singular presence of Jesus, the God-Man. While they did not see Jesus always in that way, they could never forget what they had seen, and in remembering, they continued to see more clearly the reality of the Presence that they followed.
The Church gives us the Feast of the Transfiguration to help us remember and continue to recognize the real Presence of Christ Jesus in our lives. While Jesus lived in history, He still lives among us. He still walks we us, and we are still called to follow Him. In remembering the Transfiguration, we recall that we are called to be “con-figured” to Jesus. We are to recognize His singular, glorious presence in our lives, and be “figured with” Him, so that with St. Paul we can cry out that it is no longer we who live but it is Christ who lives within us.
We remember so that we can recognize now the Presence of the Lord.