August 6, 2014


August 6, 2014:  Transfiguration of the Lord

  • Dn 7:9-10, 13-14  The Ancient One took his throne, clothing bright as snow, hair white as wool; thousands 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.
    Transfiguration/ Ivanov
  • 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.
  • Mt 17:1-9  Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain and was transfigured before them; his face shone, his clothes became white as light, and Moses and Elijah were with him.  Peter:  “Lord, it's good we're here.  If you wish, I'll make three tents for you.”  A bright cloud cast a shadow over them from which came a voice:  “This is my beloved Son, with whom I'm pleased; listen to him.”  The disciples fell prostrate and were afraid, but Jesus touched them and said, “Rise, and don't fear.”  When they raised their eyes, they saw Jesus alone.  Jesus:  “Tell no one till the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
  • Pope Francis audiences on People of God resume:  The Church is a new people, founded on a new covenant; the newness brings what went before to completion (vs. setting it aside).  John the Baptist is a bridge between Old Testament prophecies/promises and New Testament fulfilment; he points to Jesus and calls us to follow him in repentance and conversion. / We'll be judged on how we treat Jesus in the least of our brethren; read the Beatitudes, where Jesus shows us how with his grace to attain true happiness. / Pray hard for peace in the Middle East.
  • To altar servers on freedom/Mt 12:12:  God is the Good Father who becomes one of us through whom we understand God wants to free us and feel protected as a good father's children.  God needed a human person to bring Jesus into the world; Mary said ‘yes’ in freedom, always did good, serving God and people.  Let us imitate her example.
The world needs people to testify that God loves us.  Speak of Jesus, within and especially outside your parishes.  Among daily demands, remember our Creator who loves and accompanies us.  If God's gift of freedom is misused, it can lead us away from God.  We need guidelines and rules, in society and Church, to help us to God's will and live according to our dignity as God's children.  Follow Jesus so your freedom blossoms and brings abundant fruit, and you find authentic joy.  By adhering to God's will we can do good and be light of the world and salt of the earth.

Hover over the above "Mount Tabor" word cloud
(once it appears :-)

*listening tips
    • Creighton:  Jesus' suffering/death and resurrection both represent the glory the Son received from the Father.  Transfiguration/crucifixion parallels:  Jesus in glory/shame, clothes dazzling white/stripped, Jesus with Moses and Elijah/thieves, surrounded by shining cloud/darkness (N. T. Wright) [See Beachey's post for a comparison/contrast from Allison's CBQ article.]  Our lives are filled with both 'transfiguration' and 'crucifixion' experiences (e.g., births, honors, blessings / losses, illness).  Acknowledge God's glory in the crucifixion; it shines through if we let it in.
    • One Bread One Body:  At the Transfiguration was the Father's command to listen to Jesus.  We need that command Jesus because we don't want to hear about taking up the cross--but the cross's agony, pain, and weakness is God's power and wisdom (1 Cor 1:24; 2 Cor 12:9).
    • Passionist:  The readings are visions of God's glory.  A true religious vision comes from God, takes us beyond ourselves (vs. hallucinations that keep us in our self-centered world), needs time to mature and be tested, and prepares us to work in the real world.  Jesus told the apostles to remain quiet about the vision before the resurrection.
    •  God is eager to share his glory with us!  When Moses met God on Sinai, his skin shone from his proximity (Ex 34:29; 2 Cor 3:7).  In the Gospel, Jesus appeared with lawgiver Moses and great prophet Elijah.  Jesus knew betrayal and crucifixion awaited him; the Father glorified Jesus because he obeyed.  Discipleship is the way to the God's glory. / "When Jesus is transfigured, he shines that he may be manifested to the children of light who have put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light... and walk honestly as in the day." (Origen) / Luke says Peter, James, and John were asleep (9:32).  How much do we miss of God's glory and action because we're not awake to it, e.g. from mental lethargy, the unexamined life, life of ease, or prejudice?  We're being changed into God's likeness from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18).
    • Universalis:  Why else would the Transfiguration, absurd as it is, be in the gospel if it didn't happen?  It helps us understand Jesus is prophet, the one prophesied, God, and lives in unapproachable light.  The real Transfiguration miracle is that Jesus hid his glory so well the rest of the time.  See Catholic Encyclopedia.

    Special greetings to and prayers for
    • My family who earned a kudo by asking "Isn't Transfiguration a Sunday?," remembering that the Transfiguration gospel is [also] read on the 2nd Sunday of Lent.

    • White shirt:  "His clothing was bright as snow" (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:  "be attentive to it,... until the morning star rises in your hearts." (2nd reading)
    • Also-ran (at right):  A tie Mom made me ~50 years ago  (I'd remembered it said "JC" and had forgotten it was so short.)

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