Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection February 25, 2024


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R/. I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the Land of the living.

V/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

V/. From a bright cloud the Father’s voice is heard: this is my beloved Son, listen to him

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

At that time: Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean.

1.      Jesus is transfigured on Mount Tabor in the presence of 3 of his disciples. It is not a display of self-glory but a manifestation of his true identity. It is not to impress them but to confirm them in faith. His glory is not partial but total, both interior and exterior, as indicated by the glow of his face and clothes respectively. The experience of divine glory is so relishing, as indicated by Peter’s exclamation: “it is nice to be here; let us make three tents”

2.       Jesus’ transfiguration points to our own transfiguration, being adorned with divine glory. This is possible through a constant integral transformation of our both interior and exterior, by attentive listening and adhering to the Lord

3.       The event of Jesus’ transfiguration is a manifestation of his original divinity, identity, and glory. The purpose is not to display his glory, not to impress upon the three disciples his greatness. It is not self-directed, seeking self-glory

4.       Rather, it serves as a fount of hope that prepares and strengthens the disciples, in the face of the cross and the death of Jesus ahead. The transfigured glory of Jesus illumines and assures the disciples that Jesus who meets the fate of the cross, is not a helpless failure, forced to such a miserable end; rather he is the glorious Son of God, who willingly and freely accepts the cross as God’s will for salvation.

5.       It is not a fate of misery and damnation,  but a destiny of glory and salvation. Thereby when faced with the ignominy of the cross, let them not be shaken or shocked; let them not be dissipated or frustrated. Let them not be stuck with the cross and death, but rather let their focus go beyond the glory and eternity. Behind and beyond the disfigured crucified, one should see the transfigured resurrected Lord, re-vested with the original heavenly glory

6.       Thus that simple Jesus, who is walking along with them as an ordinary man, that suffering Jesus, who will be subjected to the humiliation of the cross, is not a disgraced and defeated man. Instead, he is the glorious “beloved Son of the Father”, attested so by the Father Himself from heaven. So do not lose faith in him, when things go contrary, but continue to keep trust and hope in him

7.       Jesus’ transfiguration is also an indicator, a forecast, and a foretaste of our own resurrection and the glory of the resurrection. It is a prefiguration of our own future glory. The frequent disfiguration of life, with all the vicissitudes and adversities, is not the final or permanent reality

8.       Transfiguration is the ultimate and definitive experience. Misery is not an absolute fate, but glory is our eternal destiny. Therefore, the transfiguring experience must trigger us to direct our focus, beyond the temporary upsets of the cross, to the eternal upheaval of resurrection

9.       This is possible only through a constant  REINVIGORATION of our original identity of being God’s image and likeness. This in turn is possible through a faithful CONFIGURATION with Jesus. The more we are tuned and communed to him, the more we live and grow like him, the more we adhere to him In “attentive listening to him”,  the more we shall experience and share the same transfiguring glory

10.   If sin disfigures us, depriving us of our original beauty and dignity of being God’s images, grace through Jesus transfigures us, restoring to us that lost light and radiance. The shining light and brightened glow will indicate that our transfiguration is more a matter of illuminating and brightening our darkened selves and false lives

11.   The more we are enlightened, breaking off the sheaths and layers of darkness that often block and blur our radiance, the more we re-discover our real identity and radiate the light of that true image

12.   Thus real transfiguration lies in the daily process of brightening up our lives. Light up the life, Daily on the “mountain” – of the vicinity, proximity, and intimacy with God, in a spirit and ambiance of solitude and serenity, in the heights of our spirits, in the focused moments of prayer, in a personal encounter with Moses and Elijah, signifying the Law and Prophets, i.e. the entire Scripture and Tradition

13.   Transform and glorify life, wholly and fully, by changing both the interior,  indicated by the change of face, which is the index of the interior, and the exterior, indicated by the change in clothes

14.   Let our every day be a continuous journey of removing the shades of darkness that reduce our glow. Let it be a vibrant march of regaining our lost radiance. Let the light of Christ make our hearts, and our life, more bright, with more hope and more renewal.

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