Significance of Christ’s transfiguration

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THE gospel of the 2nd Sunday of Lent brings us to that wonderful event in the life of the apostles when some of them witnessed that amazing transfiguration of Christ. “While he (Christ) was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.” (Lk 9,28)

We may wonder why such event took place. A number of reasons can be given. One, for example, may be that Christ wanted to reassure the apostles that everything would be all right even if they too would be witnessing the horrible passion and death of Christ on the cross.

But another reason could be to remind ourselves that we too are truly meant to share in the glory of Christ. We too are meant for a supernatural life for which we have to try to develop a certain taste for it and a way to keep it alive even while we are immersed in our earthly life.

We therefore have to learn to develop our spiritual and supernatural bearing, since this is what is proper to us. As persons with intelligence and will, we cannot help but have a spiritual character in our life. With these natural endowments, we are meant to enter into the spiritual world of ideas and rationality, of cognition and love that goes beyond the material and sensible aspect of our life.

And as children of God, created in God’s image and likeness, we are meant to enter into an intimate relation with him, which cannot be other than supernatural, since God is beyond our nature. This is always possible since God gives us his grace, and we, on our part, with our spiritual endowment of intelligence and will, are enabled to be elevated to the supernatural order of God when we correspond to God’s grace.

This basic truth of our life should always be on our mind, and should animate all our thoughts, words and deeds. We need to pause from time to time to allow this truth to take hold of our mind and heart, and of our life, in general, using the appropriate means.

That is why we need to spend time praying and meditating on the truths of our faith, so that this spiritual and supernatural bearing that we should aim at having can take root and develop. And all throughout the day, we have to have recourse to certain practices that not only would remind us of this truth, but would also help us live it.

As children of God, we are actually being conformed to Christ who is the Son of God who became man so that we may have a way to becoming like God, as God wants us to be.

We cannot overemphasize this wonderful truth of our faith about ourselves. This is what our Catechism says about this point: “The Word (the son of God) became flesh to make us ‘partakers of the divine nature.’ ‘For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.’

“‘For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.’ ‘The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.’” (460)