Feast of the Transfiguration

Hiroshima The disciples of Jesus did not know it, but they were about to witness something that had never happened before. Suddenly a blinding light flashed around them. In great confusion they turned to see where it came from. One moment everything was calm and peaceful. Then a flash brighter than the sun swept over them. This was not the Transfiguration, but what Dorothy Day called the “anti-transfiguration,” the bombing of Hiroshima 77 years ago.

The disciples of Jesus, Fr. Pedro Arrupe and his fellow Jesuits, went outside and climbed the hill protecting their residence on the outskirts of the city. From the hilltop they saw Hiroshima transformed into an enormous lake of fire. Half of the people died right away. They were spared greater agony. Most of the other half died slowly over the next few months. Ever since that devastating day, the world has been living under the threat of what author Tom Clancy calls, “The Sum of All Fears,” a nuclear holocaust.

Fr. Arrupe writes, “It’s at such moments one feels the need of supernatural assistance.”  Whether or not we ever come face to face with the sum of all fears, a nuclear attack, the Transfiguration of Jesus reveals the sum of all hopes, humanity’s divinization, God’s loving plan for us.

We are never very far from the sum of all fears. Let us never wander very far from the sum of all that gives us hope, the promise of Jesus to transfigure us with his divinity in heaven.

The Transfiguration