Dr Scott Hahn, founder and president of the St Paul Center, gives a profound and powerful meditation on the Transfiguration of Jesus.
He . . . handed him over for us all. (Romans 8:32)
Yes, God loved us so much that he did not spare his Son. But what St. Paul doesn’t mention in today’s passage is how persistent God was in handing Jesus over to us. Neither does Paul talk about how resistant we can be to this great gift.
At Christmas, God handed over his Son to us as a gift of peace. Mary and Joseph welcomed him openly, and a few shepherds embraced him, but the rest of the world seemed pitted against him. Even Herod and all Jerusalem feared him and trembled at the news of his birth (Matthew 2:3).
Then the Father handed Jesus over to us as a gift of wisdom: “This is my beloved Son,” he proclaimed (Matthew 3:17). He sent him to teach us how to live in love with him and each other. But rather than receive Jesus humbly, we questioned his every motive and were hard of heart and slow to believe.
On the Mount of Transfiguration, God offered Jesus as a gift of glory: “This is my beloved Son,” he said yet again, adding an impassioned plea: “Listen to him” (Mark 9:7). Still, even Peter misunderstood the gift. He sought to capture Jesus’ glory as a static memorial rather than a living presence.
God even used Pilate to hand Jesus over to us, this time as a gift of sacrifice: “Behold, the man! . . . Take him yourselves and crucify him!” Pilate cried. He didn’t even know that he was helping fulfill Jesus’ mission. But again we rejected the gift: “Take him away!” we replied (John 19:5, 6, 15).
On Easter Sunday, God gave Jesus to us again, this time as a gift of forgiveness and redemption. And every day since then, he continues to offer Jesus to us in the humble form of bread and wine: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
Jesus is here. Accept him. Let him change your heart.
“Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but you still offer yourself to me. Help me to embrace you so that my soul may be healed.”
there is so much darkness in my life
and I hide from you.
Take my hand
and lead me out of the shadows of my fear.
Help me to change my heart.
Bring me to your truth
and help me to respond to your generous love.
Let me recognise the fullness of your love
which will fill my life.
Free me from the darkness in my heart.
Reflect, today, upon Jesus as He is now fully radiating His glory in Heaven. Recall that image whenever you find yourself tempted in life toward despair or doubt, or when you sense that Jesus simply wants too much of you. Remind yourself of Who Jesus truly is. Try to imagine what these Apostles saw and experienced. Allow their experience to become yours also, so that you will be able to daily make the choice to follow our Lord wherever He leads.