No One Else but Jesus
(Feast of the Transfiguration: Daniel 7:9-14; 2 Peter 1:16-19; Matthew 17:1-9)
Over the main entrance to the Basilica on the Holy Mountain of La Salette is a stained-glass representation of the Transfiguration of Jesus. As you step outside, the site of the Apparition our Our Lady is directly in front of you.
The visual comparison is obvious. On a ‘holy mountain,’ Jesus’ face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. The Blessed Virgin at La Salette was first seen in a globe of blinding light, and she herself was all light. In both cases we seem to be dealing with what St. Paul calls the glorious, spiritual body (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:43-44).
Jesus chose three witnesses. Mary chose two. St. Peter emphasizes that he and his companions were eyewitnesses of the ‘majesty’ of Jesus. Maximin and Mélanie were eyewitnesses of a ‘Beautiful Lady.’
Then there are the words. In the Gospel they come from the cloud: “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.” This left Peter, James and John ‘very much afraid.’ Jesus then tells them not to be afraid. Since the children were terrified at seeing the globe of light, Mary first told them to come closer without fear.
The most essential point in common between the two ‘high mountains,’ however, is the Beloved Son. He is the fulfillment of Daniel’s vision of “One like a Son of man, who received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.”
Mary mentions her Son several times, and twice reproaches her people with the abuse of his name. In other words, they do not serve him; they do not respect his dominion, glory and kingship.
It was after the Transfiguration that Jesus began his last journey to Jerusalem. As he approached that beloved city, he wept, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace.” He then predicted the calamities that would befall her, “because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:41-44).
If those who call themselves Christian fail to recognize and welcome Christ, the consequences are devastating. But conversion is always possible.
And so, Mary directs us to her Son and, like the voice from the cloud, invites us to ‘listen to him.’