Two famous characters – Moses and Elijah – were seen conversing with Jesus in the transfiguration. What is their significance? Moses represented the Old Covenant Law, while Elijah stood for the prophets. Powerful as the roles these two figures may have played in salvation history, their greatness pales in comparison to Jesus. They were in the scene, as always, to serve the Son of God.
Jesus is the fulfillment of both the Law and the Prophets. Everything before him was a mere shadow of his reality. The writer of Hebrews declares, “In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe, who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word” (Hebrews 1:1-3a).
Just like all others, this Sunday’s readings demand certain responses. Do we, like Abraham in the First Reading, respond in faith to God’s seemingly impossible promises? Do we, like the psalmist, trust in Jesus as our Savior? Do we, like St. Paul in the Second Reading, treasure our hope in heaven as our final and eternal destination? And do we, like Jesus in the Gospel, look forward to our own transfiguration, but never staying on the mountaintop but coming down to fulfill our mission in this world?