Reflection for Sunday: Feast of the Transfiguration – August 6, 2017

Readings: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; 2 Peter 1:16-19; Matthew 17:1-9
Preacher: Amanda Rayburn

What a gift it is to proclaim and ponder the account of the Transfiguration on this first Sunday of August!

Remember the last time you heard this Gospel proclaimed? It was Lent, the second Sunday, it was snowing out and temps were in the 20s. The mountain we were climbing then was figurative…that mountain of Lent that we climb, internally discarding all that obstructs our view of the risen Christ. Seems so long ago.

Today, however, we can more easily imagine ourselves being led by Jesus, climbing the mountain with Peter, James and John in the warmth of the sun, surrounded by the sights and sounds of summer. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” In the light of our Transfigured Lord, can we recognize transformation within ourselves? Have we been listening? It sounds so easy when he lays it out for us…listen again to what we’ve heard declared since the Feast of Corpus Christi:

“What I say to you in darkness, speak in light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on housetops.”

“Whoever receives you, receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

“Come to me, all of you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”

“But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear…Do you understand all these things?”

The lesson of discipleship that Jesus has been teaching during this Ordinary Time of summer is filled with challenge. How do we proclaim to others the truth we have heard? Do we make our voice heard by advocating for just laws, practices and basic human rights? Do our words foster peace and reconciliation or add to the violence that bombards us daily?

What is our attitude toward the stranger, the poor, the annoying coworker, the whining child? Is there an openness and room in our heart for “the other?” Can we allow ourselves to rest in the Lord or are we so driven by our agenda and need that God is only an afterthought?

Perhaps because it is summer we consider pitching tents and resting securely; but the challenge of discipleship takes us down the mountain and into the world to live the lessons boldly and pass them on. Like Peter, James and John, we have been touched by Jesus. Our eyes, ears and heart have been opened. There is much work to be done.

On this summer Sunday we have an incredible opportunity to encounter again the transfigured Lord; let us be open to the challenge to “listen to Him.”

Amanda Rayburn