Transfiguration

Today, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration. Perhaps it is fitting that weeks after the murderous spree in Colorado, days after the knife attack leaving nine people dead in China, and hours after the assault at the Sikh Temple in Milwaukee, that we hear the final words of the Second Reading:
You will do well to be attentive to it,
as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
It does seem that, as a human family, we have experienced the dark side of humanity. On a large level we have seen heros fall, corporate greed and dishonesty, the appalling failure of religious and educational institutions to protect the wellbeing of children, and these last few weeks the callous disregard for human life we (easily) take for granted has now been brought into our homes by these terrible assaults. Only a fool, or an intentionally ignorant person, could keep himself from wondering, "What is going on here? Just what is wrong with us?"

Our era of 24-hour news has provided for us something of a negative Transfiguration, a parody of today's Gospel. We are glimpsing the dark revelations of how sinful and broken our world really is. Jesus' apostles had to climb a mountain to learn the truth of his identity...we need only turn on the television to glimpse what we've become, what we're really like, what our actions are revealing about the darkness dwelling within the human condition. We don't need to look very hard, or very far, to come to the realization that we need healing.

The Feast of the Transfiguration provides, for people of faith, a moment of clarity - we celebrate that Jesus reveals himself to his followers that in a special way. Today we must pray to catch a glimpse of Jesus and then return to the world to be lamps in the darkness. We need to find the courage to preach clearly and bravely the Gospel, even when it is unpopular or difficult. Sinful humanity is allergic to the truth and, should we dare to share the truth, we will suffer for it.  Our faith tells us, though, that light is stronger than darkness, life will conquer death, and good will triumph over evil. In the face of horrendous evils, let us pray for the grace to embody our beliefs and to take a stand - regardless the cost - against the darkness that surrounds us.


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