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Transformed by Holiness
Saturday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus took Peter, James, and 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; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, the disciples 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. Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He told them, “Elijah will indeed come first and restore all things, yet how is it written regarding the Son of Man that he must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
Opening Prayer: Oh my Jesus, how beautiful you are! Transform me with your love and light. Help me to truly encounter you in your word and conform myself to you.
- Elijah Must Come First: Jesus told Peter, James, and John that Elijah had already come. Who could he have been speaking about? Could Elijah have come and no one noticed? The Scripture the apostles were referring to was the prophecy of Malachi, who foretold that God would send a new Elijah before the Messiah would arrive: “Now I am sending to you Elijah the prophet, Before the day of the Lord comes, the great and terrible day; He will turn the heart of fathers to their sons, and the heart of sons to their fathers…” (Malachi 3:23-24). The person Jesus was alluding to is John the Baptist: “From the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come” (Matthew 11:12-14). This new Elijah had to come before the Lord to prepare his way (Mark 1:1-9). John the Baptist called the people to repentance and turned their hearts away from sin and toward charity. He baptized the people to cleanse and prepare them for Jesus’ mission. Repentance prepares the soul for holiness. From what is Jesus calling us to repent, so we can be transformed by his holiness?
- Dazzling White: Jesus’ body was described here in its glorified form as radiant and beautiful. His body was light itself, his glory enlightening everything with its truth: “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:23). Christ is light, the dawn that one day will break upon all: “I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16); he is the sun of justice that will reveal the dawn with his healing rays (cf. Malachi 3:31) who rules with beauty, justice, and truth. The O Antiphon for December 21 reads, “O Oriens (Radiant Dawn), splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” Jesus, come shine your light of truth and healing on the dark parts of my life.
- “Become What You Receive”: In the Eucharist, we receive the precious, glorified Body of the Lord. The Eucharist is the risen Christ. It is the same body St. Mary Magdalene wished to cling to that first Easter morning (cf. John 20:17), the same body that St. Thomas touched (cf. John 20:28), and the same body that is shown here in the Transfiguration. A body that is holy, pure, unblemished, and radiant. When we behold the Eucharist in the Blessed Sacrament we adore the same risen Christ. When we receive Holy Communion, we partake in Christ’s divinity. Our nature is changed to be more like Christ’s: we become divinized children of God. St. Augustine taught of the Eucharist, “Behold the mystery of your salvation laid out for you; behold what you are, become what you receive.” In short, we become more Christlike, and more holy.
Conversing with Christ: My Jesus, thank you for showing us the way to holiness. Help me repent of whatever is blocking me from fully receiving your holy presence in my soul and uniting myself fully to you. Shine your radiant light into the dark places in my soul. Transform me to be united to you in your holiness.
Resolution: Lord today by your grace, I will adore your glorified Body in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
For Further Reflection: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops embarked on a three-year Eucharistic Revival project on June 19, 2022. Ponder their original plan for inspiring a greater understanding and belief of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist: USCCB Eucharistic Revival. Consider this blog post about how laypersons can bear witness to the Real Presence of Christ by Word, Life, Light: They Walked Away.
Carey Boyzuck is a wife, mother, freelance writer, and lay member of Regnum Christi. She blogs at www.word-life-light.com.
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