I was so moved by last week's first reading about Abraham, I didn't get to post my thoughts on the Gospel reading (Mark 9:2-10) - otherwise known as the transfiguration of Jesus.
Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a mountain (believed to be Mt. Tabor, pictured to the right), where they witness him transfigured and "chatting" with Moses and Elijah.
I had always wondered why Jesus did this, and our priest actually gave me the answer in his sermon. At this time, it is believed that His apostles still did not understand who Jesus was. They thought He might be Moses or Elijah, or another prophet. By having them see Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah, God was making it clear that Jesus was neither. And by transfiguring Him, Jesus is shown to be elevated in stature. (And, just in case they missed all of those hints, God flat out told them "This is my beloved Son".)
I can't help but wonder what Peter, James and John thought after that. Mark notes that they "were terrified," and one can certainly understand that! What a startling event that must have been!
But I am also guilty of wondering "Why didn't they 'get it'? Why did they need so many signs?" After all they were with Jesus! They saw Him perform miracles and talk about God and Heaven. But I know that isn't fair. We have history, including their accounts of the Resurrection to make it crystal clear for us. They did not have that at this point so its hard to look at it through the same lens.
So I am thankful for the Apostles' accounts of what they saw, and thankful that the Gospel writers captured them. And I am even more thankful that God has given me the faith to believe 2000 years later without such overt signs. To quote John 20:29, "blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed."
Thank you God, for my faith in you.