Brilliant light, brilliant evil
Bosco Peters has a profound meditation for this day on which the church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration and the whole world remembers the first use of the atomic bomb.
On this day in 1945, someone climbed not a holy mountain, but into the cockpit of a plane – a machine of war. There had been a lull of a week in the fighting between America and Japan. The Americans had a new secret weapon and they wanted to use it with the maximum psychological effect. On August 6 an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
Here we have a new voice booming from heaven. Here too was brightness, brilliant as burning magnesium. Here too is a cloud that has come and has covered us all with shadow. Truly, under the shadow of this new cloud, we are right to feel afraid.
Indeed, are we transformed by the experience of this evil — the destruction of an entire city in one brief flash? Are we as Christians troubled by the juxtaposition of two dazzling experiences on one day? Let us pray that as Peter, James, and John were never the same after seeing the Christ, so may we never be the same as we contemplate the cost of peace and war.