1 a After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.*
2* b And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.
3* And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him.
4Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents* here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5c While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,* then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
6* When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid.
7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”
8And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
9d As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision* to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Friends, today’s Gospel recounts the story of the Transfiguration. Here the glorified Jesus represents the fulfillment of the Old Testament revelation, symbolized by Moses, representing the law, and Elijah, representing the prophets.
Let’s look at the two basic divisions. God gave the Torah, the law, to his people, in order that they might become a priestly people, a holy nation, a people set apart, in the hopes that they would then function as a sort of magnet to the rest of the world. But the law didn’t take. From the very beginning, the people turned away from its dictates, and became as bad as the nations around them.
And then the prophets. Repeatedly we hear the call to be faithful to the Torah, to follow the ways of the Lord. The prophets constantly turn on Israel itself, reminding her of her own sinfulness. And then came Jesus, God and man. Jesus did what no hero of Judaism had ever done. He fulfilled the law, remained utterly obedient to the demands of the Father, even to the point of laying down his life. He brought the Torah and the prophets thereby to fulfillment.
Bishop Robert Barron