Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Feb 09, 2012 | Comments (0)

Epiphany 7 Mark 9:2-9. “Only Jesus”

Rational understanding tries to feel the joy about the event. Spiritual understanding feels Joy to be in the event.

This story of the Transfiguration is one of the most significant stories in the Scripture. There was Jesus, Elijah and Moses. What did they all have in common? Much! They were talking to Jesus about their Exodus. Each one was involved in a type of exodus experience.  Elijah was caught up in whirlwind and the flaming chariot. Moses led the Exodus of the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt.  Now Jesus was to have His Exodus being resurrected from the grave.

Peter displayed his rational understanding by saying, “Rabbi, it is good we are here. Let us make three booths one for you, one for Elijah and one for Moses.”  Mark adds almost in astonishment, “He did not know what he was saying.”

What is wrong with the three booths?  We can always come back here to the Mount to pray and gain spiritual awakening. We can gather around the grave in Jerusalem or go to Bethlehem. This will be one more place we can use to feel good about what happened.

Spiritual understanding does not need sites, or exercises or pilgrimages to find the Joy of the Presence. Suddenly a cloud covered them all.  When the cloud was gone there was only Jesus. That is all we need! That is all we have!  His Presence is the unconditional and inclusive grace of God.

According to John, the Law was given by Moses, who represented all the Law. Elijah represented all the Prophets. After the cloud was gone, there was only Jesus. Jesus’ words are that on the two great Commandments, to love God and love others as we love ourselves, hang all the Law and the Prophets. This changes everything in the Law.  Whatever is written in either the Old or the New Testaments, the answer is always to do the loving thing. This is not something we can do out of the Presence.  To do this, we need to be in the Presence of God’s Love.

When we are able to move from the rational understanding (out of the Presence) to the spiritual understanding (in the Presence) we become transfigured. The Greek word is Metamorphosis. This is the same word for “transformed”. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2 

When was the last time you were transformed?

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