gospel reflection

Hope in the Midst of Suffering

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This week, the Gospel reflects upon the profound event of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ. This mysterious and transformative moment in the Synoptic Gospels holds great significance for our spiritual journey, revealing to us the glorious nature of Christ and offering us profound insights into our own lives as followers of Christ. The Transfiguration occurred on a mountain, where Jesus was seen in a new appearance together with Moses and Elijah. The presence of Moses and Elijah signifies the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets in Jesus Christ. It demonstrates how the entire history of God’s relationship with humanity finds its culmination in Jesus Christ. Moses represents the Law while Elijah represents the Prophets (Tradition), and both of them bear witness to Jesus as the promised Messiah.

The Transfiguration demonstrates the interconnectedness of the material and spiritual realms. Jesus, as both fully human and fully divine, bridges the gap between the physical and the transcendent. This union illustrates the harmony between the created order and the divine plan. It challenges the limited perception of reality. It shows that there is more to existence than what is immediately observable, pointing to the existence of the spiritual and transcendent dimensions beyond the material world. After moments of awe and fear, the disciples only saw Jesus return to His ordinary human appearance, and the glorious scene with Moses and Elijah disappeared. We are often drawn and fascinated by the spectacular, the extraordinary beyond the ordinary boundaries. In the Gospel, we see Peter, after witnessing Jesus shining like the sun, and His clothes dazzling white, and after conversing with Moses and Elijah, hurriedly suggesting, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’

Yet, it still has to be the path down the mountain, continuing the journey to Jerusalem which leads to Jesus’ brutal death. It is not yet the time to linger in glory. Life must continue as a journey of faith, of bonding with Jesus, even though He is heading towards the Cross. The Transfiguration of Jesus serves as a preview of the glory that awaits believers and provides encouragement for Christians as they navigate the road of suffering in their lives. Life could be hard at times, but no matter how intense the sunlight, it becomes gentle when night falls. No matter how heavy the rain, it subsides when the clouds disperse. For all of us who are encountering suffering and hardship in our lives. May we have hope in the Midst of Suffering. As we encounter suffering and difficulties, we can find solace in the knowledge that this life is not the end but a preparation for the eternal glory that awaits us in the presence of God. Just as Jesus underwent suffering before His glorification, we are encouraged to persevere through our trials, knowing that the path of suffering leads to future glory in Christ.

Huong Dinh

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