Emmitsburg Council of Churches

The Transfiguration

Father John J. Lombardi

In this Sunday's Gospel (St. Mk. 9:2-10). The Lord Jesus Christ is Transfigured. This Rosary Mystery of Light was granted to us by Pope John Paul II. The Three Main Points of this spiritual scene are: showing-forth of Christ's Divinity; preparation of the disciples for Christ's Agony on the Cross; to show continuity of Christ and the Old Testament. Let's explore for more spiritual nourishment!

Christ's Divinity: Jesus is True God and True Man. This is our Faith! In this Transfiguration Jesus Christ is not changed into Divinity-as if He was not God before and "now" He is. Rather, the Disciples see His Divinity clearly manifested in a way they could not before-especially thru the Divine Light emanating from His Body. This is called a "Theophany" (God appearance) or "Chistophany"- ("Christ-appearance"). Peter, James and John were privileged Apostles chosen by the Christ to experience this Godly Event. To stress the Divine Glory of all this Bliss we hear God's Voice echo: "This is my beloved Son, listen to Him"... Though Christ is great teacher He is God-are you worshipping Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength? Though He is Divine Friend He is first and foremost Lord-are you letting Him reign in your heart and life's decisions? So many people are seeking God today and yet cannot seem to find Him: are you bringing the Lord Jesus like apostles (the word means "to be sent") to others? In this credit crunch time many have made a god of money and yet God Himself gives us impassable glory in this passing world thru His Son Jesus Christ. While God is certainly everywhere (omnipresent) sometimes we must "go away'-climb a mountain or make a retreat or pilgrimage or Lenten fast to encounter the Lord God more faithfully and deeply: are you?!

Prepare the Disciples for upcoming challenges: we all will face trials and tribulations in life. The disciples would later see Jesus carry the Cross and die on it and thus be scandalized that the Messiah, Whom they thought would cure the evils of Roman occupation and possibly make an immediate change of political, social and cultural life, seemingly failed. Jesus, knowing this, gave the Apostles a glimpse of the future Resurrection-that God is more powerful than any Cross or conundrum in life…Do you nurture the virtue of Hope-"trust in trials"-that amidst difficulties you are aided by Christ's strength and, even though you may still undergo tribulations, know-experience in your heart He conquers and prevails and enables you to carry on? In our prayer we will all experience darkness and silence and, amidst these, while not sensing or feeling God explicitly, we must persevere and-with the mind and heart-"spiritually know" that Jesus is "here"-within us and around and before us. We will all face deserts and aridities and debacles in discipleship: Remember the Transfiguration!-He is Lord and Light constantly emitting His Divine Rays and Compassion to us-The Son is always Shining.

Continuity: The great prophets Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the Mountain and thus show that the Christ is the Heir of the Old Testament, and He is the Messiah longed for by the Jews. This shows that God our Providential Father is faithful to His promises and delivers us a "Deliver-er"! We need to be freed-delivered, esp. this Lent from our sins-dark thoughts, words and deeds-- by the Mighty Deliverer Jesus Christ. As God delivered the Hebrew-Jews from the Egyptians, and pagan Assyrians and Babylonians, God delivers the Jewish believers of Jesus' time and fulfills His promise. Today, we need deliverance from The Seven Capital Sins (which are "headways"/portals to other sins): pride, anger, gluttony, avariciousness, lust, envy and sloth The Transfiguration shows us that we can be freed from enslavements and that God is ever faithful to His promises if we persevere and trust in, and work with Him: If He did it before He will definably do it again-deliver us!

Heaven-Likeness--Pleasure Seekers: St Peter prays while with Jesus: "It is good to be here!" Who wouldn't pray that?! Peter says what we all desire and experience when we are with the Lord God in actual experiences of Him. Our souls long for Heaven-for a "Place' that will be sheer delight and pleasure (the meaning of the word Eden) and so we are "spiritually hard-wired" for good spiritual pleasure and delight. Like when we are with God in mass or Adoration; or with other Christians in holy community; or with the Lord in a constant awareness of His Divine Presence while, well, doing anything from washing the dishes to taking a walk to playing with the kids---if we are in God's Divine Will, one with Him. We all seek pleasure: it's what runs our lives, esp. here in America with so many opportunities and money. This is wrong if the pleasure is faulty (sensual, mental and otherwise) but it is good if it is in God's Eternal Will. So seek the right kind of pleasure!

Mountain Top Experience: We all need these to get us thru life. Go back to a positive, spiritual experience you had and, within the supernatural folder of your mind "click here" and open to the good recollection These can help us thru the trials, and re-charge us thru the valleys of life!

In Response: Take a "Light shower"-that is, in prayer make the following meditation: Image going up a Mountain with Jesus and His friends. Notice: you have a lotta baggage behind you: a small bag or giant dumpster of possessions, bad memories or unwanted attachments of any kind, and you are aware the stymieing load. You decide to cut it off: now see this load tumble down the mountain-feel the delight of freedom! Now go higher with the Lord and be with Him on the mountain top-sheer relief: you've made it. Image Jesus Christ standing regally before you. Relax. Release. Receive. Before your eyes He now emits Perfect Light, Divine Glory, Translucent Rays, Radiant Love. This Light begins to penetrate you: immerse yourself in it. Allow this Divine Healing Luminescence to soothe any aches or pains in your body, to go and flow and show thru you and to dispel any diseases of your organs, your mind and heart. The Light pulsates all thru your body and soul. Allow the Divine Light to transform and transfigure you into a New Way of life. More deeply, now, surrender to The Light. Abandon to His Holy Love: accept and acquire this Light intimately.

Spend lots of time herein-"It is good to be here"-and receive Him within. Repeat: Receive Him within. As you echo the words gently, may the Divine Light be within each word as a spiritual capsule of salvific solvent and become one with the Son as He loves and heals and divinizes you within…Repeat daily.

Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi