Dn 7:9-10,13,14; Ps 97:1,2,5,6,9; 2Pt 1:16-19; Mt 17:1-9
Only eyes full of faith can see the fullness of The Glory. It is the gift of faith that enables us to go beyond all our senses to behold the truth that the LORD is king. In this faith-vision we see what cannot be seen until the beatific vision of the future kingdom. Transfigured by such a sight we summon all the earth to rejoice and the many islands to be glad. The clouds hide his face and the darkness around him hides his glory. Here in this world we know his closeness when we encounter his justice and judgment, these are the foundation of his throne. Even the mighty mountains melt like wax before the gaze of his glory, the LORD of all the earth. Indeed, we join with all the heavens to proclaim his justice and with all the peoples of the earth his glory. There can be no greater joy in all the earth than to behold The Most High, The Exalted far above all gods. To worship him in spirit and in truth is the very fulfillment of our innermost being. Indeed our human nature was created in his image and likeness and until we are filled with his glory we long, we seek, we hunger and thirst for vision of his glory. Daniel, the Prophet, watched and saw with eyes of faith the Ancient One and the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven. Saint Peter, likewise, was an eyewitness to the majestic glory of the Beloved Son of the Father. Now that the Son of Man has been raised from the dead, we are obedient to the command of the Lord Christ, and we proclaim the glorious Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Daniel was not afraid to behold and to watch. Daniel was not afraid to gaze upon the glory even though for Moses it would have been instant death to behold the face of the LORD. Daniel was given the faith to behold the face. Notice that his vision of the Ancient One is full of description of the clothing, bright as snow, and the hair, white as wool, and the throne, flames of fire, and thousands of myriads were attending the LORD. Notice the face of the Ancient One is not described. Perhaps it was too beautiful to describe. Perhaps he could not see it. However as the visions continued through the night of faith, Daniel saw One like a Son of man coming on the very clouds that surrounded the throne. The One like a Son of man was recognized because he had a face, a human face. This mystery he beheld and was not afraid to gaze upon the glory. This prefigurement of the Incarnate One is our hope of glory here and now and forever in heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ reveals the human face of God. He is the refulgence of the Father’s glory for all men to behold. Once his beauty is glimpsed, all men and women recognize his dominion, his glory, and his kingship. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship is from the Ancient One and it shall not be destroyed. This vision of the Prophet is fulfilled on the mountain of Transfiguration where the chosen three are given a glimpse of the glory for which they were created and summoned to follow the Lamb of God wherever he travels in heaven and on earth.
This vision of the Prophet Daniel and the vision on the Mount of Transfiguration are not cleverly concocted myths. Indeed, the eyewitness of Saint Peter makes clear that the Lord Jesus Christ has appeared in his glory, even for a moment. This glimpse of glory is all that is needed as the Lord and his reluctant and confused disciples approached the glory of Calvary. They did not understand the mystery of the cross, but the followed the Lord Jesus until fear overwhelmed them. The fear of suffering and death can only be faced with the light of faith shining within our hearts. The LORD provides us with just enough light to make the next step in our journey of following the Lord to glory. In the prayer of those who were eyewitnesses of his majesty, of Saint Peter, Saint John, and Saint James, we learn how to hear the voice of the Father. Indeed, this is all we need when fear closes in and darkness overwhelms. We need to hear the unique declaration come from the majestic glory, “This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” This voice from the mountaintop of Transfiguration is the same voice we hear by faith in the depths of our hearts. We possess the prophetic message of the Friends of Jesus and the Prophet Daniel; this is altogether reliable. Because of such encounters in prayer, we learn to be attentive to the glimpse of glory shining in the dark place of our fears. There we watch and wait until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts.
Now that the Son of Man has been raised from the dead the mystery glimpsed on Tabor is available for all to see. Anyone who has received the gift of faith can behold the face of the Only Begotten Son of the Father. When we follow the Lord Jesus and his three friends up the Mount of Transfiguration, we get lost in prayer so that we can find our way to the cross. We find our way to the mystery of love that overwhelms the Lord Jesus in his suffering upon the altar of Calvary. This glory we could not see until he had climbed the mountain of the cross and rose in the glory of the resurrection. It is not possible for the limited human senses to behold and savor the truth of the cross with out the gift of faith. Indeed the darkness of suffering can overshadow our lives with such severe pain that we fall prostrate with much fear. In this moment of complete exhaustion and total surrender do we hear the voice of the Lord Jesus and feel his touch, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” Then we will no longer see terror and fear pain, we will see no one else but the Lord Jesus and him alone. At the sight of his face we are radiant. In the glory of his Resurrection we can all glimpse the glory of his Transfiguration and hear the voice from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Then will we hush and be still and hear what our hearts long to hear, and behold what we were made to behold, the face of the LORD.