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Thursday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, 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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to you on this feast of the Transfiguration to remember your divinity and to accompany you on the mountain. May the contemplation of this event increase my faith, hope, and love. May it bring me closer to heaven and spark my desire to spend eternity with you. Lord, help me to live with reverence and to approach the tabernacle with an awareness of your divine presence.
- Foretaste of Heaven: God the Father bestowed particular favors on the three apostles that accompanied Jesus. He gave them a glimpse of Jesus’s glory, affirmed Jesus’s mission, and made them feel so wonderful that they did not want to leave the mountaintop. They even proposed to build three tents and remain there. What a prelude to our heavenly home God has shown us! How wonderful it will be to dwell in the presence of the living God. Imagine the sight of the transfigured Lord, with all of the angels and saints. Heaven is our destiny. Let’s live with that in mind.
- “Do Not Be Afraid”: How often we hear these words—Our Lord speaks them to us in today’s Gospel and they were repeated by St. John Paul II during his inaugural address after being elected pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church in 1978. Fear is a saint’s worst enemy. Fear blocks the movements of love in our hearts. We are not truly free when we’re afraid. To the degree that we’re afraid, we’re limited in the good we can do. The antidote to all fear is the recognition of the depths to which God loves each one of us. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear…” (1 John 4:18).
- “Do Not Tell the Vision to Anyone”: This experience with the Lord was so intimate and beyond most people’s understanding that Jesus advised the Apostles to keep it to themselves. Our Lord can sometimes enter into deep intimacy with us and reveal sacred things. Not everyone can understand and not every spiritual experience is meant to be shared with friends. It’s our responsibility, perhaps with the help of a good spiritual director, to decide what belongs to our personal relationship with the Lord and what should be shared with others.
Conversing with Christ: Dear Lord, help me to live in awe and reverence of your divinity. I treasure my spiritual intimacy with you, knowing how unworthy I am.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will take a moment to recall my smallness before you and place myself spiritually before your awesome majesty.
For Further Reflection: Contemplate this icon of the Transfiguration by Fr. Richard Reiser.
Written by Renee Pomarico.