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Today’s Reading: Luke 9:23-36
23 And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”
28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep but kept awake, and they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah” not knowing what he said. 34 As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
The Transfiguration has three levels of significance.
(1) Christ reveals his glory to offset the shock of his first Passion prediction (9:22).
(2) The Father’s voice, the chosen Son, and the cloud of the Spirit manifest the presence of the Blessed Trinity.
(3) The prophets Moses and Elijah testify that Jesus will fulfill the Law and prophets of the OT. This episode also parallels Yahweh’s manifestation to Moses on Mt. Sinai.
— Allegorically (St. Hilary, In Matt. 17): Christ invites three companions up the mountain to signify the salvation of mankind. As the human family stems from the three sons of Noah Shem, Ham, and Japheth so its elevation to glory is represented by Peter, James, and John ascending the mountain into the divine presence.