“What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” (v. 2b)

1 John 3:1-3 Wednesday 6 August 2014


Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Jesus' Transfiguration(Matthew 17:1-11; Mark9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36). This passage in John's firstletter helps us to reflect on the mystery that the Gospel writersdescribe. The letter, although not having the traditional structureof a letter, is written for a community where some have brokenaway, and urges its readers to hold fast to the message they heardin the beginning, despite the difficulties of life. John'scommunity has a strong identity formed around its sense ofbelonging to God. There is an echo in this passage of theTransfiguration account where the voice from heaven declares Jesusto be God's beloved Son (Mark9:7) and the same love declares John's community, and byextension us as contemporary readers, to be God's children. Noticethat the author says repeatedly that the readers are called God'schildren (verses 1, 2)andthat is what they are: the emphasis isstrong and clear.

The letter draws strong parallels between the community and Godrevealed in Christ. The world does not know them because it did notGod. When God is revealed, they will be like God, although they donot know quite what that will look like. All who have hope in Godwill be pure just as God is pure.

In the Transfiguration, we see Jesus' human body changed in thelight of God's power (Mark9:2-3). Some traditions hold this to be the 'uncreated' lightthat comes directly from God, rather than the normal light of ourphysical world. We cannot understand the nature of this event butin it we see something not only of Jesus but of our own destiny inGod.

To Ponder

  • Where do you see God's presence in your daily life?
  • What in you needs to change that you might reveal Godmore?
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