Father Linsky, just back from vacation, led a discussion this morning about the reason for and meaning of the Transfiguration of Jesus as described in Sunday’s Gospel Reading, Matthew 17:1-9. That revelation, a glimpse or preview of the resurrected Jesus, was important for the personal transformation of Peter, James, and John and for strength and perseverance in the face of ministry challenges they would face. Given that this Gospel was written perhaps thirty years after the event, the importance of remembering our own trans-formative faith experiences is suggested.
Here is a pitch for owning a copy of The Catholic Study Bible (NABRE) and checking out the footnotes in it on Bible passages we read. The footnotes help with historical and literary context and with vocabulary and other Biblical references and parallel accounts. The footnotes are not authoritative and inspired but can certainly help us understand what the meaning was to those who wrote and heard the passages in real time. Here are the footnotes for Matthew 17:1-9.
It should be noted that an earlier and shorter written version of the Transfiguration is in Mark 9, and you can read the passage and footnotes here. The Mark account is considered by most Bible scholars to be a source for the Matthew account.
I mentioned the “Tent of Meeting” during the discussion and wondered if the offer to build three tents at the Transfiguration was a reference to that. The notes above don’t suggest that, but I still wonder. Here is the pertinent passage about the Tent of Meeting.
Moses’ Intimacy with God. 7 Moses used to pitch a tent outside the camp at some distance. It was called the tent of meeting. Anyone who wished to consult the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. 8 Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all rise and stand at the entrance of their own tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down and stand at its entrance while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise and bow down at the entrance of their own tents. 11 The Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a person speaks to a friend. – Exodus 33:7-11 (NABRE)
You can read the whole chapter and the notes online here.
And, finally, we are all reminded to invite our friends to join us in the St. Peter’s Men’s Prayer Group Wednesday morning (6:55 am) meetings. Fifteen of us were gathered today, and it was a good experience.