Feast of the Transfiguration A

I have fallen in love with the word ENOUGH.  It is a strange word to fall in love with. It does not come poetically to the ear.  When someone asks how much do you love me, no one wants to hear “Enough.”

But perhaps they should. For of all that Jesus promised could be summed up in that word.  We are loved “enough.”  Jesus did not make outrageous promises of this life of smooth sailing and uninterrupted happiness.  He spoke of carrying our cross and imitating him.  But the cross would not crush and we may die to ourselves but it is also followed by a resurrection.  You see we have been given enough to endure our crosses, our heartbreak and our tragedies.

The Transfiguration is a story of enough – enough to sustain the disciples through the shattering events of the cross.   A reminder of the promise which shall not be broken.

Of course, when you first meet enough, it looks like more than enough.  I am sure that the three apostles taken to the top of the mountain who witnessed these miracles never thought their faith would be shaken at all.  Not after all this.  First, Jesus is changed before them.  His face shone brilliantly and the tired clothes of a pilgrim became whiter than white.  Next the two heroes of their faith, Moses, representing the law, and Elijah, the prophets, are conversing with Jesus as casually as they were earlier in the day.  Just when it could not be any better, it gets better – a dense cloud hovers and from it comes the voice of God, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

Befuddled, overwhelmed and filled with awe, Peter, James and John fall to ground.  Jesus says the word that was meant for them to hold onto, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”  They had seen it all.  What a blessing to see Jesus transformed in what was a preview of his resurrected body.  What assurance as to the dignity of the Lord they received when they saw him talking to Moses and Elijah. What an affirmation when heard the voice of God.

Of course, all that confidence and belief, as overwhelming when it occurred, dissipated through the gloom of Good Friday as it does in the midst of our Good Fridays.  They saw Jesus hunted and hurt, as they abandoned him, as they cowered in fear again in a room away from the action.  Yet, even the light of the Transfiguration reached them.  The three whispering in that room, “But he was with Moses and Elijah, we heard the voice of God.  What did he mean when he said “rising from the dead.”  They would have enough to last until Sunday morning.

That is how enough operates in our life.  God has given us a myriad of memories of love, a nest of relationships and enough love to have his endure the darkest nights of the soul.  I know it to be true.  Enough has sustained me through the deaths of my parents.  It has strengthened those I have witnessed  through life changing transitions and difficult decisions.  I have seen it in parents who have suffered the worst loss and know the miracle of getting up every day.  Tears are shed and we truly walk in the valley of darkness.  But our God never gives up.   We have enough.

St. Paul relates a story in 2nd Corinthians of how he asked the Lord to remove some physical ailment.  Paul who had done so much for God – shipwrecks, lashings, stoning and imprisonment and had no trouble sharing it – must have thought he had earned a cure.  Instead, the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”  God’s grace is sufficient for us for he has blessed us with family, friends and community.  It is sufficient for us for he comes to us in word and in sacrament.  It is sufficient for us for he died and rose and again.  We have enough.