This is one of my favorite readings: The Feast of the Transformation. I would like to share my experience. While on a trip to Israel, I came to the mountain that was described in this Gospel story. It was a very high mountain. The only way you get to the top was to take Mercedes Benz taxis. Several of us got in the taxis and proceeded up the hill. No guard rails were installed and the road was very narrow. The cab drivers delighted in the fact that as they raced up to the top, and I do mean raced to the top, the passengers in these taxis were shrieking in terror from the wild ride. I remember getting out at the top and kissing the ground.
There is a formula in the Scriptures that whenever something big was going to happen in the life of Jesus, he always went to the top of the mountain or high hill. This is a clue that something important was going to take place. Peter, James, and John were invited along. When Jesus went to the top he began to pray to his Mother/Father God. Suddenly, as he was praying his face looked glowing and his clothing became dazzling white. Can you imagine how the disciples must have been amazed or even scared when their friend Jesus became so changed? Next, two men were conversing with Jesus. Behold: they were Moses and Elijah. Jesus knew who they were. Jesus knew they were both dead. And, they all knew how important these men were in the history of the Jewish tradition.
I was thinking of who would I would be amazed with if I was with Jesus and he started to talk to real people who were holy people. These would have to be holy people that I recognized and knew that they were prophets, martyrs, and/or saints. For me they might be Dorothy Day, Joan of Arch, or Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
Father/Mother God then told Jesus. "This is my chosen Son; listen to him".
What an affirmation to Jesus!! He was given this miracle to reassure him that he was loved by God. It was a wondrous experience of compassion!!!! Remember that Jesus knew that he was going to be killed in the near future and the human side of him must have been very frightened. But, now he knew that his God was with him and would always be with him. He was given such compassion and joy to know that he was doing the will of his Parent God.
The disciples were overwhelmed too with what they had seen. It was if they had been part of a real life drama that they really could not appreciate. It would be a long time before they understood of what had really happened. They were so overcome that they wanted to stay there and pitch tents to have time to fully grasp what they had seen and what it meant. They, in a word were speech less and could not even converse about it.
Compassion is the word that comes to me when I reflect on this story. Jesus was given a grace filled experience that was beyond any words that I can describe. His God had relived his fear, worries, and panic by appearing to him in such a tremendous way. He also knew Moses and Elijah and was able to sense that everything was going to be alright. God gave Jesus such a magnificent experience that fears were lifted from Jesus' shoulders, at least for a small time. He had the experience of being loved by his parents.
What can we learn from this? Can we say that we have had experiences like these? Can we say that we were transfigured as Jesus was? The answer would be probably not. But can we say that we were shown compassion at times by others that helped relieved our minds and our fears? I believe that we all have had an experience or experiences that quieted our fears and panic that allowed us to feel secure if only for a little while.
Sometimes when we are discouraged or are grieving it is difficult to feel the love of God. This is natural and to be expected. Do not be ashamed if you feel this way for a time. Sometimes all you can do is continue to pray to God for the feeling of comforting love. Sometimes I just say the word, trust, trust, trust, trust, trust, over and over because I need to continue to pray no matter how discouraged I may be.
I also believe that I need to show compassion to the people around me, again and again and again. We do not know what other experiences people are having or experiencing. Showing compassion to others is like the Parent God did to Jesus and what is expected of us. We must not stop. We have to show compassion to everyone we meet or feel called by God to pray for. Sometimes showing compassion is more than praying for someone. Compassion means stepping out with actions; money or thoughtful deeds even to people that have hurt us. We cannot just reach out to our friends that are in need.
I have been thinking a lot about reaching out to prisoners and their families. That would also mean being compassionate to the people and their families who have done heinous crimes. The victims should also be included. I struggle with being compassionate to the priests and bishops who have done terrible things to children. I need to change my words and tone of voice as I speak about them. Perhaps you have others in your world that you need to act and speak with compassion.
The Mother God and Father God that acted compassionate toward their son give me pause to think how we act compassionately with our own families. Sometimes it is the person that we live with or are related to can be the most difficult to act be compassionate towards. All we need to do is to try a little bit. Then our compassionate God will give us suggestions to reach out to others. We all like to be loved by God. This story is an example how God reaches out to us. Do not worry or fret about it that we are not loved by God enough. We are loved by God beyond measure.