On the Road Together, for August 6
August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration
Prayer after communion for this weekend’s liturgy:
May the heavenly nourishment we have received,
O Lord, we pray,
Transform us into the likeness of your Son,
Whose radiant splendor you willed to make Manifest i
n his glorious Transfiguration.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Director of RCIA
You might notice an interruption in our Ordinary Time color of green. To signal a celebration of a feast about Christ, the liturgical color is white. This weekend, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. This celebration is ancient to Christianity with celebrations evident from at least the 9th century. And the Transfiguration is attested to in Matthew, Mark and Luke’s gospels. Matthew’s version, our Gospel this weekend, situates this event just after Jesus has predicted his Passion and death for the first time to the apostles and has told them that they, too, may suffer. One can imagine the shock and disappointment the disciples must have felt at this news. So, Jesus takes Peter, James and John up the mountain and there he appears with Moses and Elijah and is transfigured before their eyes in dazzling radiance. And a voice comes from a cloud that says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” At this, Peter, James and John fall prostrate in total fear.
This Gospel story offers a foreshadowing of Jesus’ resurrection. He is the King of Glory who instills hope in the apostles (and the early Christians) as they prepared to journey to his Passion and death. The memory of this Transfiguration event will give them hope that Jesus’ death is not the last word. There are many parts of this reading that are comforting for the suffering believer and one part really stood out to me: When the apostles were prostrate in fear, “… Jesus came and touched them…”
Jesus comes to touch us in so many ways: some are big “ah-ha” moments and some are more gradual ways; sometimes in immense joy and sometimes in immense suffering. And at every liturgy, in the Eucharist, Christ comes to touch each of us in a unique way. The Eucharist connects us both with Jesus, the radiant King of Glory and Jesus, the Suffering Servant on the cross. The Eucharist also connects us together, as a community raising up one another. In our prayer after communion this weekend, we pray that this heavenly nourishment will transform all of us into the likeness of Christ!
I had a former adult student who was sharing about her quest for God. She mentioned a time of loss of faith for her when her child was suffering both physically and emotionally. Here is her reflection:
There was no big awakening that brought me out of that emptiness. Out of habit I would occasionally dip my toe in the water and tried talking to God. I checked in to see if I felt anything. The first many times, over many months, I did not. Then slowly I started feeling something. At first I brushed it off as my de facto place of comfort and did not trust it. But then life started easing up while at the same time I had the opportunity to talk openly and honestly about what I was experiencing. In sharing with others and having them share their struggles with me, trust crept back. I started feeling Christ’s presence.
There are so many different ways that Christ comes to touch us, as he touched separately the fearful apostles Peter, James and John in the Gospel. May we reflect this week on how Christ comes to touch each of us and be so ever grateful that Christ the Suffering Servant and Christ the King of Glory comes near in our prayer, in the Eucharist, and through one another.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
Readings for Mass this weekend, August 5 & 6:
Sent by Beverly Aviles on Thursday, August 3 at 4:03PM