Like the vision of the Ancient One recounted in the first reading, the Transfiguration comes during a period of crisis. Ancient Israel was learning again the hope in the divine promise: That even as the rulers of the world vie for passing power, God is ultimately the one who reigns. The disciples are learning that lesson as well in today’s Gospel.
Today’s Scripture readings remind us we are called to listen to and speak and live God’s word in our world, when it is comfortable and when it is uncomfortable. This is not a call to arrogance, but to humility.
When we gather for the celebration of the Eucharist, we are making a commitment to live our lives according to the teachings of Christ, and to root out of our own lives any hypocrisy and spiritual weeds that have grown up in there.
Pope Francis often reminds all of us who are Catholic to be aware of the ways we sometimes focus too much on our own ways of thinking and acting – instead of on Christ’s mind and actions – displacing the reign of evil with the Reign of God.
In the year King Uzziah died, the people of ancient Israel were in a time of profound transition and unclarity – between something old and something new. It is not surprising that God chose that precise time to speak to Isaiah about a new vision for the future.