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Contributing to a transfigured world

This Sunday’s Gospel, from Mark 9:2–10, is the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain. This salient event reveals the glory of Christ to Peter, James, and John, as they witness Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah.

The disciples are enveloped in a cloud, and they hear the voice of God proclaiming Jesus as His beloved Son. This powerful moment not only confirms Jesus’ divinity but also foreshadows His upcoming Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

The Transfiguration serves as a pivotal point in the Gospels, strengthening the disciples for the challenges ahead and affirming Jesus’ identity as the long-awaited Messiah.

In the context of our world today, the Transfiguration offers profound insights for Christians. Just as the disciples were called to witness the glory of Christ amidst their doubts and fears, we too are called to recognise the presence of God in the midst of the complexities and struggles of our time.

The world we live in is marked by various forms of injustice, suffering, wars, conflicts, and environmental degradation, echoing the need for the transformative power of Christ’s message and love.

Reflecting on Mark 9:2–10 in the contemporary world prompts us to consider these observations.

The Transfiguration invites us to seek moments of encounter with the divine. In a world filled with distractions and noise, we are called to pause, listen intentionally, and behold the presence of God in the beauty of creation, the faces of our neighbours, and the silence of our hearts.

Just as the disciples were transformed by witnessing the glory of Christ, we too can experience a profound inner transformation through encounters with the sacred. We are in the annual Lenten season, and this is as good a time as any to begin the habit.

The brilliant image of Jesus transfigured on the mountain stands in stark contrast to the broken image of the crucified Christ. In a world marred by violence, oppression, and indifference, we are called to stand in solidarity with the crucified of our time – and there are so many.

Pope Francis reminds us of the need to accompany the victims of injustice, to recognise the face of Christ in the marginalised and suffering, and to work towards a more just and compassionate society.

The environmental crisis facing our world today calls for urgent action and ecological conversion. The degradation of the environment not only harms the planet but also impacts the most vulnerable members of society. The message of Laudato Si’ emphasises the interconnectedness of all creation and the moral imperative to care for our common home.

Just as Jesus instructed His disciples to proclaim the Good News to all nations, we are called to be witnesses of the Gospel in our contemporary world. “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words” is a well-known saying often attributed to St Francis of Assisi. There is no proof the revered Italian saint said those words, but we should get the point – act more, speak less.

The challenges of secularisation, materialism, and indifference require us to live out our faith authentically, to be beacons of hope and love in a world often devoid of meaning and purpose.

The message of the Transfiguration calls every single follower to seek moments of encounter with God, to stand in solidarity with the marginalised, to care for our common home, and to boldly proclaim the Gospel of Christ.

May we, like the disciples on the mountain, be open to the transfiguring presence of God in our midst, and be inspired to work towards a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world.