The Transfiguration and the Adventure of Faith

Would you like to go on an adventure?

There are certain people among us who would not be able to resist such an invitation. A charismatic stranger swoops in, turns to you with a wild look in his eyes, and says, “Let’s go!” You can just taste the intrigue, the excitement. It’s all over our adventure stories: The Cat in the Hat; Harry Potter; The Hobbit; Doctor Who. They’re all the same – wonder leads to adventure, and then to more wonder. How could we resist?

Today is one such adventure. Jesus, walking with His disciples, invites Peter, James, and John to join Him in prayer up on the mountain. That in and of itself was probably exciting – “Jesus chose us to go with Him!” Then, up there, in that traditional place of encounter with the Lord, the three see Jesus changed before them – transfigured – revealing His true, heavenly glory. Not only that, the very voice of God spoke and they heard Him say, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to him.”

How do you top that experience? How much cooler does it get than to see Christ in glory, speaking with Moses and Elijah, and hearing the voice of the Eternal Father speaking to you? Indeed, this was the adventure of a lifetime. It left a lasting effect on St. Peter, who later would write “We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain. Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place.”

Then, the moment was past, and all returned to normal: no one there but Jesus alone. It was time for them all to go back to business, and Jesus even asked them not to tell anyone until much later.

How do you go back to “normal” after that? How do you think Peter, James, and John felt? How did they look at Jesus from that day on?

Brothers and sisters, you and I are also invited on an adventure. In fact, it is the same adventure that Jesus bid His disciples to share. At our Baptism, we were clothed with the same glory that Jesus shares with all who believe in Him, and we embark on the same adventure of faith that countless saints have joined throughout history.

Do you know that?

How do you feel? How can we go on like “normal” in a world that has been touched by the glory of God in such a way that we celebrate today? Each time we gather for Mass, we are enveloped in the same glory that surrounded the Apostles on the holy mountain, and that filled the Upper Room on Easter. We are heirs to the faith of the Apostles – of Peter, James, and John, and all the rest. We are adventurers with them!

But what of this adventure that we are living? Are we aware of it? Do we walk through our life like people who have encountered the Lord here in this place? Like people who share Jesus’ glory? Like ambassadors of Christ to Dundalk, Edgemere, and beyond?

Here at Mass, Jesus comes to you – like the Cat in the Hat, or Old Gandalf, or Doctor Who – and he asks you, “Would you like to go on an adventure?” It might not sound like that. Perhaps it sounds like and invitation to serve as a catechist, or a wedding proposal, or news of a pregnancy, or a simple, still moment of prayer. But trust me: it is an adventure!

Our faith is more than a set of beliefs; it is a call to action – to follow the One who has opened heaven for us all and offers us eternal life. The invitation of faith is the greatest adventure of them all – full of wonder leading to more wonder – and you and I are called to live it. When I say, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord with your lives,” will you? That’s our invitation today: to listen to the Son of God, and then to share that glory with the world.

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