The Transfiguration is not reducible to a fact. It is a fact. But it is more then a fact. It is an experience of God-become-Flesh. And one enters this experience by doing what God is. The Son of God – one with the Father [“I and the Father are one” (Jn. 10, 30) becomes transfigured [radiation] as He lives out His divinity as Relation-to-the-Father. That is, He prays. And “as He was praying, the appearance of His countenance was altered” (Lk. 9, 28). Christ’s prayer is the ontological action of the Son of the living God living out – and showing it – the very “thing” that He is. He is pure relation to the Father. He is not an individual who prays. He is prayer. He is conversation with the Father. Christ is material. He has a body: “Feel Me and see that a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Lk. 14, 29). When The enfleshed Son prays, He is living out who He is. He is Son. And that action is perceived in our human dimension as radiation energy, light, power. It is the power of creating divinity itself transfiguring the assumed humanity of Christ.
When I saw – again – atomic explosions in a documentary on “The Manhattan Project” – the development of the atomic bomb – , I could not help but think: “that is the Transfiguration.” Since Christ has assumed His Body from the Virgin, He has assumed, in His very Self, matter (mass), and that the divine “I” of the Son lives out His sonship that is relation to the Father dynamizing that matter which is His Body (“Feel Me…”). The Protagonist of every free action of Christ is His divine “I”, His human thinking/talking/relating to the Father God thinking,/thinking/relating God the Son to God the Father. They are one God “( “I and the Father are one” [Jn. 10, 30] but they are not the same Person (“The Father is greater than I [Jn. 14, 28]). You can only deal with this if you permit yourself to be taught that Person in God is nothing but relation. That is, the Persons are not individuals but actions that are relations (as the Father is the action of engendering the Son, and the Son is the action of glorifying and obeying the Father. That is the “otherness” of God, and why St. Thomas used the concept and word “Esse” in referring to the God of Jesus Christ – i.e. To Be. And that is why the God of Jesus Christ is not A Being, not even the Supreme Being, but totally and simply the action of all actions: “To Be.”
And that “To Be” which is relational Action, when enfleshed and is material, and involved in the human action of prayer as relation, becomes Transfigured. And this is when I think of the conversion of uranium and hydrogen mass into energy, and I see dramatization in the bomb. Go see a youtube on the bomb which was exploded over Hiroshima today and be in awe.
And think about yourself converted into the divine energy of which you are made (in the image of the Trinity) by the action of prayer – into which you are to convert your ordinary life and actions, and weep for your lack of faith and giftedness.
Permit the Lord to transform your mass into energy: E = MC 2. You can’t see the Transfiguration unless you experience it, and thus re-cognize it.