Knowledge of the Divine
Mar 9, 2020
“Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.” (1 Cor 12:13)
I have often wondered how Peter, James and John recognized the men who join Jesus in the Transfiguration. As the story is told they are standing on a high mountain and Jesus lights up and he begins conversing with Moses and Elijah. Peter, somehow trying to make sense of all this, tells Jesus that it is good that the apostles are there to build tents for Moses and Elijah. I also find myself wondering how long the conversation between Jesus, Moses and Elijah was, and what they were talking about. We get this wonderful story with all sorts of tantalizing details, yet in my mind some of the even more interesting stuff is missing.
Jesus had already let his disciples know that he was destined to go to Jerusalem where he would be put to death and to be raised on the third day before they arrive at the mountain; in fact the Gospel tells us that the transfiguration took place six days after Jesus’ prediction of his destiny. I wonder if at that moment of convergence as Moses and Elijah come to speak to Jesus, if their conversation wasn’t about how Jesus will be the completion of the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah).
I think St. Paul is on to something as he writes to the Corinthians about our knowledge of the divine. We see dimly now, but then we shall be seeing face to face. In the moment of the transfiguration the apostles are transported to that place of divine reality where they can see and recognize all through God’s presence—“Then I shall know as fully as I am known.” Even though I shall not have my questions answered, it all points to a wonderous future for all who are following Jesus.