The Transfiguration of Our Lord is hard to understand. Why did it happen? What did it mean?
Here are 10 things you need to know.
1. What does the word “transfiguration” mean?
The word “transfiguration” comes from the Latin roots trans– (“across”) and figura (“form, shape”). It thus signifies a change of form or appearance.
This is what happened to Jesus in the event known as the Transfiguration: His appearance changed and became glorious.
Before looking at the Transfiguration itself, it’s important that we look at what happened immediately before it in Luke’s Gospel.
2. What happened right before the Transfiguration?
In Luke 9:27, at the end of a speech to the twelve apostles, Jesus adds, enigmatically:
This has often been taken as a prophecy that the end of the world would occur before the first generation of Christians died out.
The phrase “kingdom of God” can also refer to other things, though, including the Church — the outward expression of God’s invisible kingdom.
The kingdom is embodied in Christ himself and thus might be “seen” if Christ were to manifest it in an unusual way, even in his own earthly life.