August 6 2020
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Reading 1 DN 7:9-10, 13-14
As I watched:
Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was bright as snow,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
his throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.
The court was convened and the books were opened.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw:
One like a Son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
The one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;
all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.
Responsorial Psalm 97: 1-2, 5-6, 9
R. (1a and 9a) The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
Because you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth,
exalted far above all gods.
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
Reading 2 2 PT 1:16-19
We did not follow cleverly devised myths
when we made known to you
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received honor and glory from God the Father
when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory,
“This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven
while we were with him on the holy mountain.
Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.
You will do well to be attentive to it,
as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
Alleluia MT 17:5
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 17: 1-9
Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
The Transfiguration by Raphael, c.1520
III. Christ Jesus — “Mediator and Fullness of All Revelation”
God has said everything in his Word
65 “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.” Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews 1:1-2:
In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word – and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behaviour but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 6TH Mk. 9:2-10 Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
- St. Paul reminds us: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Rom. 6:3-4)
- Newness of life for the Christian begins with Baptism – is nourished and sustained in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Eucharist – and anticipated in the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor.
- Therefore, we offer three Meditations today to help us see with spiritual eyes the glory upon glory of our supernatural life that begins here and is fulfilled in eternity!
PART 1: Baptism: Newness of Life in Christ by Pope Francis
PART 2: The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass glorifies us with Our Lord and His Church! by Sister Aemiliana Lohr, O.S.B
PART 3: Transfiguration on Mount Tabor by Anastasius of Sinai, Bishop.
Baptism: Newness of Life in Christ by Pope Francis
Therefore, it is not a formality! It is an act that touches the depths of our existence. A person who is baptized and a person who is not baptized are not the same. We, by baptism, are immersed in that inexhaustible source of life, which is the death of Jesus, the greatest act of love in all of history! And thanks to this love we can live a new life, no longer at the mercy of evil, of sin, and of death, but in communion with God and with our brothers and sisters.
By the power of baptism we are gathered into Jesus’ relation to God the Father. We are bearers of a new hope, the hope of going on the path of salvation our whole life long. And it is a hope that does not disappoint. Remember, hope in the Lord never disappoints! Thanks to baptism, we are capable of forgiving and of loving even those who offend us and do evil to us. By our baptism, we recognize in the least and in the poor the face of the Lord who visits us and makes Himself close to us! Baptism helps us recognize in the face of the needy, of the suffering, and also of our neighbor, the face of Jesus.
A last point which is important, I ask you a question: can a person baptize him or herself? No one can be self-baptized! No one! We can ask for it, desire it, but we always need someone else to confer this sacrament in the name of the Lord. For baptism is a gift bestowed in a context of care and fraternal sharing! Throughout history, one baptizes another, another, and another… it is a chain, a chain of grace! It is an act of brotherhood, an act of filiation to the Church. In the celebration of baptism we can see the most genuine features of the Church, who like a mother continues to give birth to new children in Christ, in the fecundity of the Holy Spirit. End Pope Francis
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass glorifies us with Our Lord and His Church! by Sister Aemiliana Lohr, O.S.B. (+1972)
The Holy Sacrifice today which glorifies us with our Lord and His Church anticipates the last resurrection at the end of time. It makes us certain of what we most deeply are, and of our victory.
This was the reason for Christ’s anticipation of His manhood’s glory on the mountain. But in Him, man in the realest sense because He bore within Himself the whole race of believers; we who have died a mystical death by baptism are already constituted partakers of His glory.
Yet with us, as with Him before He had suffered, that glory is not continuously visible. Only when we have borne conformation to Christ throughout the whole of our earthly lives, and striven always more consciously to realize it; only when we have borne our share of the pains of Christ, to their last end in our body’s death, will the full splendor of the risen and glorified Christ break out in us.
But we must hold fast to the fact that the light of this glory shines already in every true Christian, although it be hidden. If sin has put it out or weakened it, it is to come once more to flame by the exercise of fast and penance, to come to new and greater brilliance. The end is the glorified Christ of the Gospel, living in every one of us!
In this hour when He becomes present to us in the Holy Sacrifice, we learn what we are and what our concern in life is. The struggle, the weariness, the renunciation are not ends in themselves. They bring to being in secret the glory of the life which is to be ours in time to come. While our body is weary, near to fainting, the resurrection and the glory of the Mystical Body grow and have increase!
Christians, whom the world despises, are the only really alive people; and that in the highest degree. The power of life which streams out of them, the life of Christ, is hidden. It brings them through their sufferings and burdens, it gives wings to their going along the way of the cross, and in everything assures them of the victory.
The Transfiguration of the Lord is the transfiguration of His Church! When He comes again at the world’s end, the hidden life of glory in all who belong to Him will be made visible to all the world.
Even now this is revealed to the faithful in the mystery, to make them conscious of the hidden power that is theirs, and enable them to withstand temptation more manfully! End Sister Aemiliana Lohr, O.S.B.
From a sermon on the Transfiguration of the Lord… by Anastasius of Sinai, Bishop.
Upon Mount Tabor, Jesus revealed to His disciples a heavenly mystery. While living among them He had spoken of the kingdom and of His second coming in glory, but to banish from their hearts any possible doubt concerning the kingdom and to confirm their faith in what lay in the future by its prefiguration in the present, He gave them on Mount Tabor a wonderful vision of His glory, a foreshadowing of the kingdom of heaven.
It was as if He said to them: “As time goes by you may be in danger of losing your faith. To save you from this I tell you now that some standing here listening to me will not taste death until they have seen the Son of Man coming in the glory of His Father.”
Moreover, in order to assure us that Christ could command such power when He wished, the evangelist continues: Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter, James and John, and led them up a high mountain where they were alone. There, before their eyes, he was transfigured. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Then the disciples saw Moses and Elijah appear, and they were talking to Jesus.
These are the divine wonders we celebrate today; this is the saving revelation given us upon the mountain; this is the festival of Christ that has drawn us here. Let us listen, then, to the sacred voice of God so compellingly calling us from on high, from the summit of the mountain, so that with the Lord’s chosen disciples we may penetrate the deep meaning of these holy mysteries, so far beyond our capacity to express.
Jesus goes before us to show us the way, both up the mountain and into heaven, and – I speak boldly – it is for us now to follow Him with all speed, yearning for the heavenly vision that will give us a share in His radiance, renew our spiritual nature and transform us into His own likeness, making us forever sharers in His Godhead and raising us to heights as yet undreamed of.
Let us run with confidence and joy to enter into the cloud like Moses and Elijah, or like James and John. Let us be caught up like Peter to behold the divine vision and to be transfigured by that glorious transfiguration. Let us retire from the world, stand aloof from the earth, rise above the body, detach ourselves from creatures and turn to the Creator, to whom Peter in ecstasy exclaimed: Lord, it is good for us to be here.
It is indeed good to be here, as you have said, Peter. It is good to be with Jesus and to remain here forever. What greater happiness or higher honor could we have than to be with God, to be made like Him and to live in His light?
Therefore, since each of us possesses God in His heart and is being transformed into His divine image, we also should cry out with joy: It is good for us to be here – here where all things shine with divine radiance, where there is joy and gladness and exultation; where there is nothing in our hearts but peace, serenity and stillness; where God is seen.
For here, in our hearts, Christ takes up His abode together with the Father, saying as He enters: Today salvation has come to this house. With Christ, our hearts receive all the wealth of His eternal blessings, and there where they are stored up for us in Him, we see reflected as in a mirror both the first fruits and the whole of the world to come. End Anastasius of Sinai, Bishop.
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA