.Fourth Luminous Mystery of the Rosary
A few years ago with a group of pilgrims I visited the Mount of the Transfiguration. It is not too far from the Sea of Galilee, and from every direction it rises distinctively from the plain landscape as a solitary hill. I took the picture above from the bus window.
In a similar way, the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus rises up as if from nowhere in the Gospels. We have Jesus preaching, teaching and performing miracles that have an effect on some but not on others, then, all of a sudden Jesus is speaking with the Old Testament prophets Moses and Elijah and his clothes become ‘dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them’.
Our contemporary and practical minds might prefer to dismiss the Transfiguration of Jesus as a bit of unnecessary magic. Perhaps our attachment to our own limited and safe vision dismiss such a pragmatic response.
The Transfiguration of Jesus is the event that opens the door between earthly ordinariness, (days and weeks of routine and mundane and struggling existence), and the divine eternity. In this moment Peter, James and John got a taste of something more; so much so that they could not even put it into words and did not speak of the event when they went down the mountain.
This is what happens every time we celebrate the Mass and the sacraments of the Church. The door between heaven and earth is thrown open by God. We express our struggle and our sin and God pours grace onto us and into us. Once again we realise that we are participants in the divine life of God. This is not the result of anything that we have done. We simply stay with our yearning for hill-top existence when we are down in the valleys, and even in the pits, and Jesus comes to us.
When we leave the church after Mass we are changed people. Like Peter James and John we struggle to put this into words. We are not even really sure what has happened, nor even if anything has happened.
The fact is, we have tasted heaven and in the most tangible form of communion, heaven has come INTO us. We are different, we are made beautiful, and because of this, even though we go home into the same reality and relationships, every moment of the week ahead is transformed.
This foretaste of heaven enables us to live fully in every earthly situation.
As you pray this decade of the Rosary don’t try to think too much of the words of the Hail Mary, or even of the scene of the Transfiguration. Simply allow Jesus to lead you to see beyond the earthly situations that occupy you today, praying that you might sense the embrace of Jesus divine love for you.
You might find Bishop Robert Barron a helpful guide to praying these Luminous Mysteries at this link.