The Sisters of Life deliberately chose August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration, for the date of their Final Profession Mass and celebration. Every year, sisters who have been preparing for eight years, make their final vows to the Lord. It’s essentially their wedding day, complete with rings and veils. As they enter into the church, the sisters in the choir chant, “The Bridegroom is here, let us go out to meet him.” You can be sure that they have enough oil in their lamps – – the Holy Spirit is their burning fluid and Christ himself is their light.
Why the Transfiguration? Because on Mount Tabor, Christ revealed a glimpse of his Divine glory which we can all hope to participate in if we are faithful to the end. This is the marriage feast of the Lamb when the Church will be united forever to Christ the Bridegroom. The sisters foreshadow this: they are, as St. John Paul the Great would say, “an eschatological sign,” that is, they witness to the fulfillment, when Christ will be all in all – – Divine Splendor shining in and through us – – and no one will be given in marriage, because marriage will have been fulfilled. It seems very fitting indeed for them to celebrate the taking of final vows on the Transfiguration.
The religious sisters, and brothers (those who take evangelical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in their consecrated way of living, remind us of what it is to walk as children of the light in our own specific way of life. We have been chosen in him for praise of his glory from the beginning of) time. In Christ we shine, because Christ reveals what man is. To paraphrase St. Irenaeus, In him is the glory of God, because in him is man fully alive. In the Light of Jesus, we see what we are meant to be—-the Light of the World. Through being faithful to his will and in prayer, we behold his face with our own faces unveiled and are transformed from one degree of glory to another. Men and women in religious life remind all of us that we should walk in the light and not in darkness. The Light himself has delivered us and transferred us into his kingdom. Why choose darkness? Jesus says that those who refuse to come into the light do so because their works are evil and they don’t want to be exposed. I think it’s a whole lot easier and way better to come to the Light and allow him to transform us—- that we might shine as beacons of his glory here and now and unto eternity.