Feast of the Transfiguration
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St. Dominic Church, NOLA
I'll be the first to confess: I can be a bit jaded, world-weary. That is, when it comes to watching the world and the problems we humans create for ourselves, I am more likely than not to think, “Well, that's hardly surprising.” When the news broke about the Ebola virus in Africa, I was concerned but not surprised. When that Malaysian plane was shot down over the Ukraine on the same day that Israel starting blowing up terrorist tunnels in Gaza – not surprised. This morning I read that the federal database for tracking terrorists in the US contains 1.1 million names and that almost 80% of American parents think that their children's lives will be worse than theirs – not surprised. One of the advantages of being a Catholic in this day and age is that very little shocks us. Why? B/c we have an excellent understanding of what it means to be part of the fallen human race. We know sin. Evil is no stranger. If we stopped there – at our fallen, sinful nature – we would be despairing as well as jaded and world-weary.
Thankfully, right on time, Christ shows us our gifted end; he shows us where we can end up if we trust in God and surrender ourselves to His will. That's the whole reason for the dramatic revelation on Mt. Tabor – to show us our gifted end, to show us where we can end up if we trust in God and surrender ourselves to His will. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to the mountain top to show them what they can become – transfigured, changed in such a way that they become unflinching beacons of God's living glory. As witnesses to this truth of the faith, Jesus appears with Moses and Elijah – prophets of the Law. The Father sends these two prophets to bear up under the truth that Christ is not only His beloved Son but the literal flesh and blood of His promise of eternal life as well. His promise – to keep us with Him always – is given a figure; it's illustrated, changed into a shape, a form, a person. . .the person of Christ. Radiating His Father's glory, Jesus sees the growing despair of his disciples – our worry and dread – and he injects our flagging hope with a simple tonic, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” Rise. And do not be afraid. Our end, our gifted goal is the glory of the Father. And nothing He has planted will ever be uprooted.
Follow HancAquam or Subscribe ----->