(Adults, you could begin by reading the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)
In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus needs time to pray. He wants to spend time alone with God, listening and talking. Something happens while Jesus prays.
Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.
Often when we pray, we go to a place by ourselves so that we can be alone with God. This time, though, Jesus takes three of his friends with him. They go for a walk together up the mountain to be alone with God.
And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.
While Jesus prays on the mountain, he starts to look different. He is still Jesus—he is still the person that Peter and James and John know and love—but his face looks different. We wonder how his face might look.
At the same time, his clothes change, too! They become dazzling white. They become so bright—almost too bright to look at! His clothes have become Light. There is not a speck of darkness in them.
We know that Jesus says,
I am the Light of the World (John 8:12)
While Jesus prays, while he listens and speaks to God, the Light of Jesus shines out of him so brightly. The Light shines right out through his clothes. While he prays, Peter and John and James can see the Light of the World. They do not know what this means.
When they do not know what to think,
a cloud came and overshadowed them...Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”
Whose Voice could this be? Could this be the Voice that Jesus listens to when he prays?
Peter and John and James now know more about who Jesus is. They know whose Son he is and they know he has been Chosen. Chosen means it is right that Jesus is the Light of the World. That means it is good to listen to him.
There comes a day when Jesus dies, and Peter and James and John see his light go out. They think that darkness is stronger than light. They think they cannot listen to Jesus anymore. They do not remember right away that Jesus is the Chosen. They forget what they know: the Light of Jesus is dazzling, there is not a speck of darkness in it. It is right and good.
But we remember! We know! After Jesus dies, God fills Jesus with new life—Risen life that can never end. Risen life is dazzling light. In it there is no darkness. The Light of Jesus' Risen life can never go out. Then Peter and John and James will remember the prayer on the mountain when the Light of Jesus shines so brightly that even his clothes become dazzling light.
Jesus does not keep his good and right Risen life all to himself. He shares it with Peter and John and James. He wants to share it with all people. He shares it with us. On the day of our Baptism, everyone prays. A little candle is lit from the Paschal candle—the biggest candle in the church. The Paschal candle reminds us of the Risen life of Jesus, that dazzling light that can never go out. The dazzling light is shared with the little candle, and it is given to us. What can this mean?
On that day, the day of our baptism, we wear a white garment—clothes that have not a speck of darkness in them. Everyone prays. When everyone gathered sees our dazzling white garment and the dazzling light of our candle, what do they know? For a moment, everyone gets a peek at the full light of God, the Light of Jesus' Risen life, dazzling in us.
Peter and John and James get a peek of the Light of Jesus dazzling when he prays. Usually, though, he looks like everyone else—just normal. His Light is hidden. They just get a peek.
We do not wear our Baptism garment every day. Our little candle is put away in a box. We know we still have the Light of Jesus' Risen life dazzling in us, but people cannot see it. We cannot see the Light dazzling in them, either. Or can we? Are there other moments when we get a peek at Jesus' Risen life dazzling all around us?