A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD – CYCLE “A” – 8/6/17 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
In the Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John are given a glimpse of Jesus’ majesty and exactly what He is going to look like, in His glory, in Heaven. In many ways, for them, it is a preview of Heaven. And this vision, this gift, that they are granted, changes the way that see Jesus and changes their relationship with Him. Things would never be the same.
This Feast of the Transfiguration has got me thinking all week long about Heaven. The Scripture accounts of the Transfiguration spend a lot of time talking about how Jesus looked. His hair, His clothes, His face, all were dazzling white! It got me thinking, if that’s what Jesus is going to look like in Heaven, what are we going to look like in Heaven? For example, will we have hair? Will our hair be all white, like Jesus’ hair was? And if we’ve lost some hair, will we get it back in Heaven? You know, there’s that promise of that whole glorified body thing. What does that mean? Let me tell you what I hope that it means. I hope it means that we all get abs like Jesus. Look at Jesus on any crucifix or in any painting. I mean, look at that. Do you know how many sit ups I would have to, to have abs like that? I want my glorified body to have abs like Jesus! And then, of course, there’s our clothes. Are all our robes, or clothes, or togas, or whatever it is that we are wearing in Heaven, is everyone going to be wearing white? That will be tough. When I was a kid, every white shirt that I owned had little red specks, or stains, on the front of them, from eating spaghetti. That’s how you could tell the kids that came from Italian-American homes. The little red specks! So in Heaven, either they have some really powerful bleach, or they don’t have spaghetti with tomato sauce in Heaven. And I’m really hoping that’s not true. But will we all really be wearing only bright white clothes?
I asked my spiritual director about this once, and he told me that if you are worried about how you are going to look when you get to Heaven, that maybe you’d better spend some time thinking about how you were going to get to Heaven. He said people in Heaven don’t worry about how they look. And I said, “Good, then they won’t be upset about a few red specks on my white robes.”
Then, there’s also this line in today’s Gospel, where God the Father speaks from the cloud, and He says “This is my Beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased. Listen to Him! I think we’re being told something really important here. If we want to get to Heaven, if we want to wear dazzling white robes, if we want to receive our reward in Heaven, then we’d better be listening to, and following Jesus right now. He is showing us how to get to Heaven. Which is so much more important that what we are going to wear when we get there or what we are going to have to eat! We’ve got to get there, first, folks! And if we’re not listening to Jesus, we don’t have to worry about what Heaven will be like, because we’ll never get there.
The Transfiguration also reminds us that just as Jesus was changed on that mountain two-thousand years ago, so too today, He wants to change us. He wants to transfigure us! When Jesus looks at us, He looks at us and see us as that person that was created to live forever with Him in Heaven. We don’t see that. But, thank God, He does! Every day we must let Him change us, and mold us, and transfigure us into that person that we were created to be! That’s what we were created for, not this world! We’ve got to get this straight! We were made to live forever in Heaven, and not just for seventy or eighty years on this earth. Let’s be concerned about the things that really lasts, and not the things that are passing away.
The Transfiguration also reminds us that we have to let other people change and become what God wants them to be. This is also important. Too often, we want everybody else to let us change, and be transformed, but when it comes to people we don’t like, or people that are different from us, then they can’t change. They can’t be transfigured. And Jesus is saying that we all can be. All of us! And we’ve got to give each other that chance.
This is a great Feast Day! The Transfiguration gets all of us thinking about Heaven and the future. Are we preparing for Christ and His glory? Or are we putting our hope in a world, that is passing away?
+ May God bless us as we strive to answer that question, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us!!!