By showing the three disciples a preview of his glory, Jesus prepared them to better accept the pass that lay ahead, and thereby “prepares them for the test,” proclaimed Pope Francis. He spoke before the February 25, 2018, reciting of the Angelus in St. Peter Square, explaining the day’s gospel from Mark in the Transfiguration.
He reminded the faithful gathered in the square that the Transfiguration occurred just six days after Jesus had told the disciples that he would be rejected, killed and rise from the dead. They had expected something very different.
“This announcement put Peter and the whole group of the disciples in crisis, who rejected the idea that Jesus would be rejected by the leaders of the people and then killed,” the Holy Father explained. “They, in fact, awaited a powerful, strong, dominating Messiah, instead Jesus presents Himself as the meek, as the humble Servant of God and Servant of men, who must give His life in sacrifice, passing through the way of persecution, of suffering and of death.”
The Pope continued by explaining that the Transfiguration helped the disciples face the Passion “in a positive way, without being overwhelmed. And Jesus thus prepares them for the test.”
The Holy Father pointed out that the Transfiguration helps us, as well as the disciples. It shows that Christ’s Passion is a “mystery of suffering, but it’s especially a gift of infinite love on Jesus’ part.”
“The event of Jesus, who is transfigured on the mountain, makes us also understand better His Resurrection,” Francis said. “To understand the mystery of the cross it’s necessary to know in anticipation that He that that suffers and is glorified is not only a man but the Son of God, who has saved us, with His faithful love to death.”