The Transfiguation reminds me of Shoenberg’s Verklartete Nacht. While it is based on a story of two lovers on a late evening stroll who come to a difficult reconciliation that transfigures their lives, the musical direction of the piece is about any great change in life. The music presents to the ear all the confusion, questioning, strife in the dark moments of life, but then at each questions, the music resolves and even surges into sumptuous melodies.

I think of this because the journey and mission of Jesus in Galilee is also about the difficulties of love, the strife he faces, all the questionings of the disciples, confusion, and all that. Yet at each step, and here particularly in the Transfiguration, the resolves (pun intended) along the way reflects and foretell his coming time of glory.

At the end of the experience, Jesus uses resurrection language, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And then he calls the experience a “vision.” I has always struck me that this ”vision” is given as an act of love for the disciples who are so much struggling with the words and actions of Jesus. It is a moment of reconciliation.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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