During the earthly life of Jesus, there were only a few times when his heavenly glory was revealed to his followers: at his nativity when the angels announced his birth; at his baptism when the dove appeared and a voice from heaven proclaimed, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” and on the mountain at his transfiguration.
The Transfiguration is one of the most mysterious and hopeful stories of the New Testament. Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a high mountain to pray. While they were there, suddenly, his face “shone like the sun,” his clothing became glistening “white as light,” appearing with Moses and Elijah, as a voice from heaven cried, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” For a few brief minutes, Jesus’ followers saw his glory and splendor, as if the veil of his humanity had been lifted to reveal his heavenly radiance.
The name of the Church of the Transfiguration reflects the hopeful gospel message, that in Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, it is possible for our lives to be transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ, and for our life together to be an instrument of the healing love of God. The Transfiguration is God’s promise that light and life will prevail, and that the resplendent light of God can shine in and through the darkest regions of every human heart.