Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The Transfiguration

I love this feast! I can bore people stupid with why I think it is so wonderful.



Is not the reaction of Peter so human and understandable? Here is something truly extraordinary, brilliant and glorious, we want it to last as long as possible. Peter suggests shelters for Moses, Elijah and Our Lord to encourage them to stay. How many times have we been before the Blessed Sacrament and wanted it to last and last, even when our concentration wanders we feel we could live and die before the monstrance.

Look who is present, Moses, the giver of the Law and Elijah, the prophet who tugs at our sympathies and is hard not to think of as a great hero. Notice who isn't present: no Abraham, no David, no Aaron. No Father of the Nations, no King, no High Priest....but they ARE there as the Transfigured Christ. This is deep stuff, I can meditate on it for some time....

Then the Father call to them "This is my Son, the beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him". Peter, James and John are overcome with fear when they truly realise what is before them. If we really felt the presence of the Almighty in the Eucharist, we'd approach on our bellies, if we dared approach at all. All those bold promises made before the Blessed Sacrament are as straw. Who were we kidding? Our concept of the Divine is truly pathetic, if the Almighty really did make his full presence felt, we'd probably die of fear before Him, as I doubt we have the strength of Peter, James and John.

Then Jesus comes to them gently, tells them to stand up and not to be afraid. The vision is gone. Jesus enters our pathetic little world and puts the stabilisers back on our bicycles, we're not ready for riding on two wheels just yet.

Few have the strength for a full beatific vision, how many of us would really desire it. There seems to be a connection between sensing God in his majesty and accompanying Christ on his journey to calvary. We're cowards. If we think about it we couldn't handle being united with Christ on the cross, crying out in agony "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?". Many of the Saints have done just this.

Absorb the majesty of this Feast and be prepared to love and follow Christ in the way that is best for our salvation, the way he desires us to follow him. Remember, he gave his own Blessed Mother to the youngest of those there present, the one who was at the foot of the cross. We are all treated with the utmost gentleness.

10 comments:

la mamma said...

That's a beautiful reflection, thank you, Rita.

Do you ever wonder why Andrew wasn't there?

Augustine said...

There is definitely an inner circle withing the twelve. Peter is there because he Christ is preparing him for leadership. John, and to a lesser extent James, is the disciple closest to Jesus. This is a very intimate scene; the glory of the King is revealed here to so few...

la mamma said...

Yeh, I see what you mean, Augustine. I suppose I just feel a little for Andrew; I tend to think of him as being in that inner circle and that at the Transfiguration he was 'left out' but I'm sure that in all humility - saint that he is, after all - he didn't see it that way!

Ponte Sisto said...

Beautiful post! Thank you!

Rita said...

Thank you for your thank yous!

Tom in Vegas said...

I, too, love the Feast of the Transfiguration. Although modern-day hermeneutics questions whether it really happened or not.

ukok said...

It was mums birthday on the 6th so we went to mass and there was a visiting priest, Abbot Cuthbert who said Mass. The Homily wasn't like anything i'd heard before...so contemplative. As for you boring people, bring it on i say. I ould read stuff like this for hours.

Rita said...

Careful, Tom! You are using the "H" word, what if Auntie A gets to know about this?!!!

I think we can safely say much modern biblical scholarship seeks to remove anything supernatural from the Gospels and is therefore c**p (A nice succinct 4 letter word used a lot in the UK and not derived from anything rude and not really that rude, unless you want it to be...).

Irene said...

Rita, I am not sure of your meaning. Certainly, like everything else, "biblical scholarship" comes in all qualities, from very very good to very very bad.

I'm sure some of that does try to "remove anything supernatural from the Gospels" -- indeed, I've seen some, in the popular press and on the internet. But from what I see, most of it respects and accepts the gospels as they are written. However, since hermeneutics is all about interpretation, it often attempts to explain how a particular "supernatural" event came about.

Perhaps an example would help. Many of the miracles attributed to our saints (and candidates) consist of healings of cancers. Well, doctors have long said that 5% of cancers remit "spontaneously". So what do those events represent? Supernatural, or natural? It doesn't matter, because the doctors still can't explain them -- naming them "spontaneous remission" is not an explanation.

And by the way, you Brits have no monopoly on "c**p".

SuzyQ said...

The transfiguration has always had a very special meaning for me also.
This post has given me greater understanding of it.
Thanks so much for sharing :0

Suzy