“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:19). The Son of God became man so that we might come to know the Father and live in communion with him. Jesus’s human nature veiled his divinity, but it shines through at the moment of the Transfiguration, which we celebrate on August 6th.
It was not enough for God to call us back to him after we fell away in sin. He sent his Son on a rescue mission, embodying his eternal love for us (John 3:16). He gave us everything he had in Jesus, opening his very self to us through the Son.
When we come to know Jesus, when we gaze into his human face, we come to know the Father. Only Jesus is the natural Son of the Father, eternally born from his divine substance, entering history in order to take on our nature. Jesus comes to us so that we might become sons through adoption. His identity reveals our calling to us. We are meant to be sons of God.
The Transfiguration points us to Jesus’s true identity: “Lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’ When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and have no fear’” (Matthew 17:5-7). The Father speaks to us, pointing us to Jesus. He calls us to a vocation beyond our understanding. When we see Jesus, it gives us confidence in the Father’s love and that he has a place for us in his love and life.
We must have faith to see God. “No one has ever seen God,” the evangelist John tells us, but “the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known” (John 1:18). Although we cannot see the Father directly in this life, he wants us to come to know him through Jesus, who brings us into his very heart. As we celebrate the Transfiguration, we remember who we are called to be in Jesus, contemplating in him the human face of God.
St. Michael’s Lent is fast approaching! Have you gotten your fraternity in order yet?
Dr. Staudt serves as Director of Content for Exodus and as an Instructor for the Lay Division of St. John Vianney Seminary. He is the author of How the Eucharist Can Save Civilization (TAN), Restoring Humanity: Essays on the Evangelization of Culture (Divine Providence Press) and The Beer Option: Brewing a Catholic Culture Yesterday & Today (Angelico Press). He holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Ave Maria University and B.A. and M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN). He and wife, Anne, have six children and he is a Benedictine oblate.