2 Peter 1:16-18
We did not follow cleverly devised myths
when we made known to you
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received honor and glory from God the Father
when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory,
“This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven
while we were with him on the holy mountain.
In law, there’s an important concept critical to the testimony and determination of truth.
The concept is “percipient witness.” According to Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary, a percipient witness is “A witness who testifies about things she or he actually perceived. For example, an eyewitness.”
Today, the universal Church celebrates and remembers a particular event about which the Apostles were percipient witnesses: the Transfiguration.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
My eyes brimmed with tears reading the above passage from Matthew, my heart is filled with wonder and awe.
Imagine if you and I had been there, waking up from sleep and seeing our Lord Jesus Christ transfigured, His face shining “like the sun” and talking with two long-departed men, Moses and Elijah — visual evidence that there is life after death.
Then, to top it all, we hear the voice of the Father: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
Do you long to see our Lord as much as I do?
In a little-known, panned-by-critics (of course) 2016 gem of a movie, Risen, directed by Kevin Reynolds, an unbelieving Roman soldier was searching for Jesus’ body following its disappearance from the tomb.
In this scene, Clavius, the Roman Tribune, saw the risen Christ for the first time — radiating warmth, love, and unspoken understanding.
Here’s the link to watch Risen in its entirety: http://ffilms.org/risen-2016/
And may the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose face “shines like the Sun”, be with you!