By Lydia O'Kane
Reflecting on the Gospel of St Luke, in which the Evangelist vividly recounts Jesus transfigured on the mountain, the Pope said, that this was ”a place of light, a fascinating symbol of the unique experience reserved for the three disciples”, Peter, James and John.
The Transfiguration, explained the Pope, “takes place at a very precise moment of Christ's mission, that is, after he confided to his disciples that he "must suffer much, [...] be killed and rise again on the third day" (v. 21).
From suffering to joy of Easter
He went on to say that “the Transfiguration of Christ shows us the Christian perspective of suffering: it is a necessary but transitory passage. The point of arrival to which we are called is as luminous as the face of the transfigured Christ.”
By showing his glory, noted the Pope, “Jesus assures us that the cross, the trials, the difficulties with which we are struggling will be overcome and resolved with Easter. Therefore, this Lent, he continued, “let us also climb the mountain with Jesus. In what way? With prayer. Let us remain for a few moments in recollection, fix our inner gaze on his face and let his light pervade us and radiate into our lives.”
The Pope also pointed out that the Evangelist Luke insists that Jesus transfigured himself "while he was praying" . “He had immersed himself in an intimate conversation with the Father,” said Pope Francis “…and while he was adhering with all of himself to the Father's will of salvation, including the cross, the glory of God invaded him, shining forth also from the outside.”
The Pope concluded by saying that, “prayer in Christ and in the Holy Spirit transforms the person from within and can enlighten others and the surrounding world.”