The Divine Presence
Mar 18, 2019
Today the scriptures speak to us of remarkable encounters with the Divine. In both the first reading and the Gospel highly unusual events take place where God physically interacts with human beings in mystical ways. This is the way we expect God to show Himself when He talks with us. Abraham seems to accept this activity in response to his question: “How am I to know that you will fulfill your promise to me.” Peter and his companions seem more disconnected in the event of Jesus’ transfiguration. Luke tells us that when Peter speaks he doesn’t know what he saying. My suspicion is that his reaction represents what most any of us would do in an encounter with this Divine majesty.
The more remarkable encounter that we can miss in the midst of all this “godly” stuff is the sheer normalness of Jesus after the moment of the transfiguration. We are told that after the voice of God speaks Jesus is found alone. He is once again one of us. We are told that when the apostles return to the rest of the group they did not tell anyone what they saw. It makes great sense to me in that what could anyone say after the encounter with the divine happening. It doesn’t take long after Jesus’ aloneness that he is taken by the chief priests and handed over to the Romans to be put to death.
The fact that this divine presence lives among us as one of us is often overlooked. God is supposed to do things like being transfigured, but to live with us and allow us to put him to death, this can seem almost impossible. It is this moment that we catch a glimpse of the truly remarkable.