The Transfiguration is one of my favourite readings. I think it is no accident that it is also the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The world was transfigured by a decision that wreaked havoc. I cannot believe that God looked down that day and was pleased with what transpired. A flash of light filled the sky and then a mushroom cloud arose. Flesh melted from bodies. Screams of horror filled the air. A city disintegrated into ash. Human shadows were etched into stone. Radiation slowly took a toll on those who survived. This was not God’s will.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus was transfigured and God was pleased. He became dazzling as Elijah and Moses appeared with him. The disciples were terrified Mark writes. God’s voice comes from a cloud, telling them to listen to the Beloved Son. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and today, as we remember the atomic bombs that were dropped in Japan, may we know that we must strive to never again use our power and knowledge for such destruction.
In the optional First Reading from 2 Peter 1, we are asked to be attentive as to a lamp in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts. Jesus is our model and we should look to him for our decisions. In Ignatian spirituality, we are to discern between the Light of Christ and the false light of Lucifer. We are not to be deceived by false spirits. In a world so hungry for peace, we must keep our eyes on Christ and allow ourselves to become dazzling, to be a lamp in a dark place, and to let the morning star rise in our hearts.
Amidst the sadness and horrors that can crave our attention, we can work for peace in ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world. I think if we spend time with and in the Son, we will be transfigured and become bedazzling. As Christians, we have been given a great gift and joy should spill out from us to infect others. May we ask to be dazzling in a world that needs the Light of the Son.
How can you bring light to a dark situation?
Remember a time when you waited for the morning star to rise again in your heart. Did the darkness try to convince you that your life might never again be dazzling bright?
Beloved Son in whom God
is well pleased,
Make peace our priority.
Transfigure our souls
until the morning star rises
within our hearts,
shining for all the world to see.