August 7, 2016

Transfiguration

August 6, 2016:  Transfiguration of Our Lord

See 19 connections with today?
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Pope Francis
At World Youth Day vigil:  We have no desire to conquer hatred with hatred, violence with violence, terror with terror.  The Lord has called us together.  Our response to a world at war is fraternity, communion, family.  Place before the Lord your own “battles,” the struggles each of you carries in your heart, and build bridges of brotherhood.  We didn’t come into this world to “vegetate,” to take it easy, to make our lives comfortable; no, we came to leave a mark.  God comes to break down our fences, to open the doors of our lives, our dreams...
Prayer for peace and protection, at martyrs' relics:  O God of the universe, all You created is good and your compassion for our mistakes knows no limits.  Keep in peace the world and its people, away from terrorism, to restore friendship and instill the gift of trust and of readiness to forgive.
Grant an eternal reward to all who died as victims of terrorist attacks.  May they intercede for this world torn apart by conflict.  Prince of Peace, heal those wounded in acts of violence, console them with Your strength, and take away any hatred and desire for revenge.  Holy Spirit, visit the victims' families.  Wrap them in Your mercy.  Make them find in You and themselves the strength and courage to continue to give witness to Your love by their lives.
Touch terrorists so that they may recognize the evil of their actions and turn to the way of peace, goodness, and respect for every human life.  We turn to You with hope, trusting in Your Mercy. Made strong by martyrs' examples, we entrust ourselves to Your Mother's intercession and ask for peace and the elimination of terrorism. 
Verklärung Christi/ Lotto
Read
  • Dn 7:9-10, 13-14  The Ancient One took his throne, clothing bright as snow, hair white as wool; myriads attended him.  One like a Son of man came on the clouds and received everlasting dominion and glory; all peoples serve him.
  • Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 9  "The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth."  Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.  Mountains melt like wax before him.  All peoples see his glory.
  • 2 Pt 1:16-19  We're eyewitnesses of Christ's majesty.  He received glory from the Father who declared, “This is my Son, my beloved....”  We heard this voice from heaven on the holy mountain.  Be attentive to the reliable prophetic message we have, as to a lamp shining in the dark till the morning star rises in your hearts.
    • Lk 9:28b-36  While Jesus was up with Peter, John, and James praying, his face changed, his clothing dazzled, and Moses and Elijah, in glory, conversed with him.  Peter and his companions woke and saw his glory and the two men.  Peter told Jesus, “It's good we're here; let's make tents for you, Moses, and Elijah.”  A cloud cast a shadow over them, they became frightened, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”  They fell silent and didn't tell anyone what they saw.
    Reflect
      • Creighton:  As Luke tells it, When Peter, John, and James went up a mountain with Jesus to pray, they must have been reminded of Moses going up Sinai to commune with God.   Moses and Elijah would have symbolized the law and the prophets to them.  Luke alone speaks of the conversation's content:  “the exodus he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.”   'Exodos' can mean ‘departure’ (i.e., death, resurrection, and ascension), but when it's Moses talking, they'd think of the biblical exodus, the release from bondage and making of the covenant.  Asleep, they didn't hear it, but we do and connect it with the New Exodus in Luke:  Jesus is the “new Moses,” leading a freedom march.  When they wake, they see Jesus’ glory and the two with him.  Peter wants to freeze the moment.  I hear the voice meaning, "You've listened to the law and prophets; now listen to my Son. What you learned from them you can now hear and see fulfilled in Jesus."  Then Jesus was found alone, bearing in his person, words, and action, the fullness of the law and the prophets.  We too are to hear him ....
        Transfiguration of Christ,
        from iconostasis (12th c.)
        More Transfiguration art
      • One Bread, One Body:  "The two faces are one":  Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, "Many were amazed at him, so marred was he."  His prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus' crucifixion.  But at the Transfiguration, Jesus' face was not emptied of glory but recognizable as God's face.  Don't look at Jesus crucified without remembering Jesus transfigured, and don't look at Jesus' transfigured face without picturing the Crucified.  His cross is not a denial of his divinity but can be understood only in the light of his divinity.  The date of this celebration was set as 40 days before the Triumph of the Cross.  Transfiguration and crucifixion go together; Jesus is fully God and fully human.
      • Passionist:  Before the Transfiguration account, Jesus' disciples wonder who Jesus is.  Following Jesus is becoming more challenging as leaders start to question and trap him.  After Peter professes Jesus as Messiah, Christ, perhaps the disciples start to imagine glories to come:  more importance, upgraded status?  But Jesus reminds them he'll suffer, be rejected, and be killed.  The Transfiguration, days later, is an encouragement at a time of disillusionment and misunderstanding; it'll help them through.  Their image of the Messiah was shattered; it'll take time for them to appreciate Jesus' understanding.  They won't understand till after the Resurrection, Ascension, and Pentecost.  When our dreams, hopes, and expectations aren't fulfilled, when we're disenchanted and cynical, may we open our mind and heart to Jesus to change our understanding....
      • DailyScripture.net:  "This is My Son, the Beloved; listen to Him!"  God is eager to share his glory with us!  When Moses met with God on Sinai, his face shone.  Paul says the Israelites couldn't look at Moses' face.  Jesus went to the mountain knowing betrayal, rejection, and crucifixion awaited him.  The Father glorified his obedient son.  The cloud fulfilled the Jews' dream that when the Messiah came, the cloud of God's presence would fill the temple again.  The Lord wants to share his glory with us.  He shows us the way:  follow me, take the path I've chosen for you, and you'll receive the blessings of the kingdom.   Jesus embraced the cross to obtain the glory that awaits each of us who follow him.
      "Jesus' face shines as the sun that he may be manifested to the children of light who have put off the works of darkness, put on the armor of light, and become children of day, walking honestly.  He'll shine on them as the sun of righteousness" (Origen) 
      How much do we miss of God's glory because we're asleep spiritually?  Mental lethargy, an "unexamined life," or a life of ease, can keep us asleep to God.  Prejudice or sorrow can blind us to something the Lord may have for us.  We, called to be witnesses of Christ's glory, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another....  The Lord wants to reveal his glory to us, his beloved disciples. Do you seek his presence with faith and reverence?
      • Universalis:  The Transfiguration can sound magical.  There's no reason for it to have happened or for it to be put into the gospel; that's the strength of it as history.   Through it we see that Jesus is a prophet and the one prophesied by them; and that he's God, living in dazzling light.  The true Transfiguration miracle is not the shining face or white garments, but that the rest of the time he hid his glory so well.
      Dress legend
        • 'Fire' pin:  His throne was flames of fire (1st reading)
        • Tie with clouds, students (likely with books in backpacks):  One like a Son of Man comes on the clouds of heaven; The books were opened (1st reading)
        • 'Olympics' tie pin:  All peoples, nations, and languages serve him (1st reading); let earth rejoice (psalm)
        • 'Clouds' tie:  I saw One coming on the clouds of heaven (1st reading); clouds and darkness are round about the Lord (psalm); a cloud cast a shadow over them (gospel)
        • 'Crown' tie bar:  Son of Man received kingship (1st reading); "The Lord is king" (psalm)
        • 'Eyeball' pin:  We had been eyewitnesses of our Lord's majesty (2nd reading)
        • White shirt:  "His clothing was bright as snow and hair white as wool" (1st reading); "His clothes became white as light" (gospel)
        • 'Waxy tent-shaped mountain' pin:  "The mountains melt like wax before the Lord" (psalm); Jesus led them up a high mountain (gospel); "I'll make three tents" (gospel)
        • 'Star' pin, 'hearts' suspenders:  "Be attentive to the prophetic message... until the morning star rises in your hearts." (2nd reading)
        • '3 stick figures' tie pin:  Peter, John, and James (gospel)
        Special greetings to and prayers for