Monday, March 05, 2007

Transfiguration: Moses on the Mountain

St. Ignatius said that you should stick with the theme of a meditation that continues to engage you. I'm actually more into a "thinking and analysis" mode on yesterday's Gospel of the Transfiguation, but as a person who tends to live in her head, that can sometimes be as close to "meditation" as I get, so I am still thinking about yesterday's Gospel.
As the Gospel was proclaimed at Mass yesterday, I was struck by the "mountain theophany" scene, remembering that it was precisely Moses and Elijah who had significant God-experiences "on the mountain". (In fact, it was the same mountain, called Sinai in the Moses account and Horeb in the Elijah story.) So at the Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah do not just represent the "Law" and the "Prophets," but two men who got as close as you can to seeing the face of God. Already, then, we have a clue about Jesus' divinity being revealed "on the mountain."
In Moses' case, he was praying "Show me your glory." (Moses came to be pretty daring in his prayer!) And God told him, "I will show you all my goodness." So, glory=goodness. But God warned him, "You cannot see my face and live, so I will shield you with my hand and let you see my back as I pass by." When Moses later came down the mountain, his face was glowing with the reflected light of God's glory. He had to hide his face so the radiance would not frighten the people. And shortly after that, at God's command, the people began building the Tent of the Dwelling, the "Tabernacle." (Again, no wonder Peter offered to "build three tents"! He knew that this is what came next in the "God on the Mountain" story pattern!)
Of course, St. Paul said that now we see the light of God's glory shining (and never fading) from the face of Jesus Christ, "the icon of God" (St. Paul's words, not mine). And so, "all of us, gazing on the Lord's glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into his very icon by the Lord who is the Spirit."
So the Lenten theme of transformation continues.
And I think I will continue with this theme myself. Tomorrow: Elijah!


The changing heathen-Pottyaboutjesus said...

Can I please beg of your prayers for a young girl called "Lanie Hallett" who is much in need of God's mercy and grace

In Christ

Niamh Moloney

Anonymous said...

I will offer a special prayer to St. Joseph for "Lanie Hallett" during the present novena ending on his feast day, March 19.

Joe Gautier said...

I enjoyed your thoughts. I have another view, perhaps, of the transfiguration of Moses. Please let me know what you think, as we sharpen iron against iron.