Thursday, August 6, 2015

“Night never had the last word. The dawn is always invincible.”

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained in sudden flight but, they while their companions slept, they were toiling upwards in the night.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: (1807 – 1882: American poet and educator)

Gospel Text: (MK 9:2-10)
Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John,
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,

“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

Who do people say I am?” After being pressed, St Peter said, “You are the Messiah, the Christ.” Before they could triumph in their close relationship with this “Messiah” and what glory that would bring them, Jesus reveals the future: suffering, rejection and death. This was such a terrible shock to the apostles; they couldn’t accept it. Peter cries out, “This cannot happen to you!” Jesus replies, “Get behind me, Satan.”

It is in this depressing situation of misunderstanding and disillusionment that the Transfiguration takes place, six days later. On the mountain Jesus is suddenly transformed. Moses and Elijah appear to be talking with Jesus. The message is clear: Moses and Elijah fully endorse what Jesus is doing and saying and the future he has foretold about his suffering and death. Then a cloud appears and covers them. This was not simply a change in the weather. For a Jewish person, it represented the presence of Yahweh. A voice from the cloud declares: “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” A supreme endorsement of the Son by his Father. Yes, listen to him even when he says things that you don’t like, things that you do not yet understand.

This special moment of encouragement will help the apostles through the difficult days ahead, though they will not fully understand until after the Resurrection and the experience of Pentecost, when they will boldly proclaim the Cross and not hesitate to carry daily their own cross.

May the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ be an encouragement to us to faithfully continue our journey, even when we don’t understand all that God is doing in our lives.

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