transfiguration: a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state
Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration, commemorating the scripture event when Jesus brought Peter, James, John, to the mountain top and revealed His beautiful and true identity as God. We invite you to reflect on the importance and symbols of this story as they apply to you as an LGBTQ person or ally. To assist your meditation, we suggest that you refer to the Transfiguration scripture reflection guide that is included in New Ways Ministry’s spiritual resource entitled “Journeys.” You can access it by clicking here.
While you review it, you may want to look at other installments in the Journeys series, which is designed for individual or communal reflection for LGBTQ people and allies. If you belong to a campus ministry, LGBTQ-friendly parish, or other spirituality group, you may want to consider using these reflection exercises for your programs. They are free and you can download them in PDF format for easy distribution. You can access the series by clicking here. In the future, you can find the Journeys series listed under the Resources tab on New Ways Ministry’s website.
The following is an excerpt from the Transfiguration reflection:
“Each time we disclose a truth about ourselves, we part a veil. By doing so, we invite others to come into our lives and make contact with us. Parting any veil forces a degree of vulnerability and demands unimaginable trust and faith.
“By inviting Peter, John, and James up to the mountain, Jesus extends to them the unexpected privilege to see himself transfigured in all his glorious splendor. So dazzling was this visual feast that Peter’s desire to build three tents – one each for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, suggests nothing but a longing for God’s revelation to linger and stay.
“In the LGBTQ community, “coming-out,” self-revelation or “transfiguration” are part of a lifelong journey of understanding, acknowledging and sharing one’s gender identity and/or sexual orientation. It may be easy for some, or longer and more difficult for others. While many are eternally grateful for the amount of support and empathy they receive from friends and family, some share “coming-out” stories that are heartbreaking and heavy to hear.
“By reflecting on the Gospel text of Jesus’ transfiguration allow yourself the time to revisit your own “coming-out” journey, whether as an LGBTQ person or an ally. Revisit the times that others have come out to you. Chances are you may discover God’s hidden graces, blessings and learnings that perhaps eluded you before.” (text by Dwayne Fernandes, New Ways Ministry)
We invite you to share your own reflections on this spiritual phenomenon in the “Comments” section of this post.
—Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, August 6, 2019