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Scripture Reflection - August 6, 2023

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord


Dn 7:9-10, 13-14 | 2 Pt 1:16-19 | Mt 17:1-9

Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection

The theophany experienced by Peter, James and John was a profound event that only the three were invited to share with Jesus, and this auspicious occasion quickly turned into a troubling experience for the three. Descending the mountain they were given the order to not tell anyone what happened.


I dislike keeping secrets, especially if they are joyful, good news ones as this was. Keeping a secret is an awesome task for children as well as adults, and to be sure, many a secret is revealed rather than kept. These men were even ordered as to how long to keep it, and they had no clue as to when the Resurrection would be, and didn’t even know there would be one. What a conundrum!


The only sense I can make of this directive is that Jesus did not want the mountaintop event to become a distraction as they returned to public ministry. If the story told of this exciting, remarkable event were to be revealed by three people, there would have been different versions, and many inquiries from the followers. Jesus was one who only dazzled when he performed miracles to relieve suffering; he did not enjoy the donkey ride into Jerusalem when the people treated him like a king. His trademark was humility, not a spotlight personality.


The secret keeping was Jesus’ way of telling the apostles closest to him to stay grounded; don’t let incredible happenings get in the way of what has to be done, and get back to the everyday task of continuing to learn from me. Mountain events such as births, weddings, and joyful gatherings, are treasured moments to be stored in our memories to be used as leaven for daily living. Keeping secrets creates great sharing moments when it is the right time and circumstances.


The lesson today could be Jesus telling us that we are keeping him a secret in our life. Am I praying so that my mind and heart are opened to the word of God and revealing secrets to me that were never disclosed before? Am I keeping secrets from the God who knows all that should be shared, as they are potential shortcomings determining my entrance to eternal life? Am I keeping my faith to myself instead of sharing it with others?


Perhaps the most difficult question is: Would I have been able to keep secret my time with Jesus at the Transfiguration?



Sr. Dorothy Maxwell, OP

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