Second Sunday of Lent - Year B
"...except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead"
Saint Leo the Great (?-c.461), Pope and Doctor of the Church
Homily 51/38 on the Transfiguration
"Jesus charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead"
Jesus wanted to arm his apostles with great strength of soul and with a constancy that would allow them to take up their own cross without fear, in spite of its harshness. Nor did he want them to blush over his death or that they consider a shame the patience with which he had to undergo such a cruel passion, without in any way losing the glory of his power. So “Jesus took Peter, James, and John … and led them up a high mountain,” and there he showed them the brilliance of his glory. Even if they had understood that divine majesty was in him, they did not yet know the power that was contained in this body, which concealed the divinity…
Thus the Lord revealed his glory in the presence of the witnesses he had chosen, and he spread such splendor over his body, which was like all other bodies, that “his face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes as radiant as light.” Without doubt, the aim of this transfiguration was above all to remove the scandal of the cross from the heart of his disciples, not to overwhelm their faith by the humility of his voluntary passion…, but this revelation also gave foundation in his Church to the hope that was to uphold it. All the members of the Church, his Body, would thus understand what transformation would be worked in them one day, since the members have been promised that they will participate in the honor that shone forth in the head. When speaking of the majesty of his coming, the Lord himself had said: “Then the saints will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom.” (Mt 13:43) And the apostle Paul in turn affirmed: “I consider the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us.” (Rom 8:18) … It is also written: “You have died! Your life is hidden now with Christ in God. When Christ our life appears, then you shall appear with him in glory.” (Col 3:3-4)