Mary’s Yes, Our Yes – Br. Lain Wilson

Mark 9:2-13

The Transfiguration closes the season after the Epiphany, and bookends, in language and details, Jesus’s baptism, which opened it. Jesus ascends—from the water at his baptism, and up a mountain now. A voice recognizes him as “my Son, the Beloved.” But between the two events, Jesus has invited people to follow him; he has called his disciples to be with him and to share in his ministry.

These disciples have had glimpses that Jesus is more than just a man. But here, glimpses give way to full vision. The three disciples see Jesus transfigured, his clothes becoming “dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.” They are terrified. Peter doesn’t really seem to know what’s going on. They see Jesus, their teacher, their friend, their Messiah—and they see him changed.

But we might ask, “who was changed? Who was transfigured?” Was Jesus changed—or were the disciples? Was it, perhaps, that the eyes of the disciples were opened so that they could see the reality behind the reality?

That reality, ultimately, is that both their visions of Jesus were true. Jesus was both the man in homespun clothing and the shining figure in resplendent white. Jesus is both human and God.

Both are true, because our Lord Jesus Christ, in the words of our Creed, “true God from true God,” “came down from heaven” and “became incarnate from” his mother, the virgin Mary, the God-Bearer, whom we commemorate today.

By saying “yes,” she bore God into the world and set in motion all that followed. Because of her “yes,” the three disciples on the mountain could view the fullness of Jesus’s nature. And because of her “yes,” we can participate in the divine nature. As our founder, Father Benson, put it: “Every action by which his strength has been developed in us has been a deifying action, gathering us up into the participation of the divine nature, which is the blessed purpose of his incarnation, the fruit of his mediatorial love, the epiphany of his triumphant power.”[1]

What is your “yes” to God today? How will your “yes” “follow [Mary’s] example of bearing God to the world”? And how will your “yes” answer the invitation to see Jesus—like the three disciples saw him on the mountain—“as he is, face to face”? What is your “yes” to God today?


[1] Quoted at the very end of our Rule, in ch. 49, “The Hope of Glory.”

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  1. Constance Paske on April 8, 2024 at 09:46

    You raise an interesting point which I have never considered. Did Mary really agree to bear the Son of God or was this responsibility simply given to her? Could she have said, NO????

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