Recently, I attended a parent session for First Reconciliation at a parish, and there was a powerful presentation of the Parable of the Found Sheep, by a catechist. In her presentation, at one point she said: “…until – all the Good News is wrapped up in that little word – He searches until He finds it.”
This same word appears also in our Gospel this Sunday, at the conclusion of their powerful experience of Jesus’ Transfiguration, Jesus tells Peter, James, and John:
“Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
With these words, Peter, James, and John are entrusted with both a responsibility and a promise. They are entrusted with a responsibility – keeping the memory of this extraordinary encounter alive, but for now, only to themselves – until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead. But this is at the same time a promise, that the Son of Man will be raised from the dead. Every time we proclaim this Gospel, we too are being faithful to this responsibility, and we too are proclaiming: God is faithful, God kept His promise.
In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation after the 1994 Synod on “The Consecrated Life and its Mission in the Church and in the World,” Vita Consecrata, Pope St. John Paul II sees in the figure of Peter, James, and John at the Transfiguration, an image of people in Consecrated Life, who have left their ordinary lives behind, to accept Jesus’ invitation to enter into that closer relationship with Him through a particular gift of self.
The vocation to Consecrated Life too is a responsibility and promise. It is a responsibility entrusted to men and women, to contemplate, to live from that original encounter of love, that call, that invitation from the Risen, Transfigured Lord – and to be faithful to this until our own day of Resurrection. Yet it is at the same time a promise: that the day is coming.