Shortly before Christ ascended the cross, he took Peter and James and John up onto a high mountain and was transfigured before them.
Two features are woven into the fabric of the event of the transfiguration: the cross and height. The cross of each of us, our trials and difficulties, is very small compared to the cross of the Lord, who takes away the sin of the world. In any case, our own cross acquires significance from that of Christ. With him beside us, our cross becomes bearable and a means of spiritual growth. Meanwhile, height creates a sense of detachment: from the hustle and bustle, the trivialities and the superficialities. You can breathe, hope in change, and see for yourself the beauty of the heavens.
If you welcome whatever cross you have with patience and trust in God; and if you decide to escape the suffocation of your self and to follow Jesus, you can experience your own transfiguration.
Given that the disciples were able to see the Lord’s transfiguration, this means that they themselves were also transfigured with him ‘insofar as they were able to be’*.
Our transfiguration depends on the relationship we have with him and the extent to which we’re able to receive his light. And whatever it is, it’s certain that it’s not from this world. You have a different view of yourself, other people, your problems and predicaments.
You can’t just behave as you did before, as if nothing had happened, and allow the passions and sins to continue to accompany you. You won’t now see them as the center of your life, because you know that Christ, as the ‘true light’ can transfigure and illumine everything within you. Now you can continue to live as before outwardly, but will enjoy his presence and your transfiguration inwardly.
*Tropario for the feast. The hymn provides elucidation for Mark 9, 1, which states that ‘there are some who are standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come’. The next phrase is ‘with/in power’ in English versions, which frankly makes little sense, but in the original Greek the meaning can equally well be ‘in potential’, i.e. as much of it as they’re able to see, but not the full glory.