Saturday, August 06, 2011

Feast of Courage

The Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus is significant that when it falls on a Sunday it replaces the Mass of the Day. As so often the Church in the East celebrated it before the West. In the 4th Century a church was dedicated atop Mt. Tabor, remembered as the site on which Jesus took three apostles, who glimpsed the radiance of Jesus' glory, which his humanity hid.

What the apostles beheld was momentary, then they resumed their lives as usual, embraced by God though in no startling way. The Preface for the feast expresses the historical (within time) and the eschatological (beyond time):
[Jesus] revealed His glory to the disciples to strengthen them for the scandal of the cross. His glory shone from a body like our own, to show that the Church, which is the body of Christ, would one day share His glory.
The mystery of the Transfiguration is one of the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary, introduced by Pope John Paul II. Of the mystery the pope wrote in his Apostolic Letter,
The Rosary of the Virgin Mary,
Each of [the luminous] mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus. ...The mystery of light par excellence is the Transfiguration, traditionally believed to have taken place on Mount Tabor. The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the astonished Apostles to “listen to him” (cf. Lk 9:35 and parallels) and to prepare to experience with him the agony of the Passion, so as to come with him to the joy of the Resurrection and a life transfigured by the Holy Spirit. [21]
Rarer peak moments allow us to live life's level places and even its valleys with renewed courage. A significant graced experience can help us appreciate that the Trinity always embraces us with their life, though we may be unaware of it.
Wiki-image of Tissot's conception of the Transfiguration is in the public domain.

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