2 Peter 1:16-18
Today, we connect Peter’s letter to the Gospels:
“We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory, ‘This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain.” -2 Peter 1:16-18, NAB
In this verse, Peter is referring to the Transfiguration from Matthew 17:
“After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.” -Matthew 17:1-2
Not only does the Gospel tell us of Peter’s experience, but he retells the story again here in 2 Peter. What is the significance of the Transfiguration? Well, according to NewAdvent.org, it is the “culminating point of (Christ’s) public life.” In other words, it was the high point of His ministry. Peter, who later became pope, was an eyewitness to this awesome event.
Today, we do not have the luxury of being eyewitnesses to Christ’s ministry. We do have, however, the accounts of His life as recorded in the Bible. Through Sacred Scripture, we can look deeper into Christ’s life, and explore it for ourselves.
Sometimes, I wonder if Christ’s disciples really fully understood exactly what they were seeing. Did they know that they were seeing the Son of God made flesh? Did they understand that this was God walking among them? We can look back and see how the Lord’s time here on earth was the most pivotal moment of history, but did the early Christians see it that way?
We may not be able to see Christ first-hand, but we can see His ministry continuing to spread today. Two thousand years later, His message continues to reach new people and new lands. He continues to change the world, one heart at a time, as much today as He did back then.
The first Christians were blessed by seeing Jesus Christ in the flesh, but we are equally blessed today. We have the blessing of Sacred Scripture to tell us the story. We have the blessing of seeing Christ’s ministry continue to strive today. And, we have the blessing of the Church, over 1 billion Catholics around the world, with whom we can experience our Lord in a very real way.