Pastor's Corner Mar 24 2019

Please allow me to revisit the topic of the transfiguration of Christ. This event was more of an 'event' for Peter, James and John (and us) then it was for Christ. What did occur was indeed remarkable: His face shone like the sun, there appeared Moses and Elias, and then all was overshadowed with a 'bright cloud' and a voice thundered "This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him." The Fathers consider the cloud to be a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The voice is the voice of the Father. Therefore, the 'event' for Peter et al., is seeing Christ commune not only with the patriarchs and prophets (represented by Moses and Elias) but also commune with the other members of the Trinity. The reaction of the three apostles? They were flat on their faces in fear.

The catechism clearly teaches that it is not possible for one member of the Trinity to be alone. Further, in Christ's human nature, he enjoyed the divine 'beatific vision' unceasingly. Therefore, both in his divine nature and human nature he is always communing with the other persons of the Trinity. Since we believe in the "communion of the saints" it is easy to admit that Moses and Elias are unified with God and communing with Him. So, what was remarkable, therefore about the Transfiguration is that we are privy to this otherworldly, spiritual, non-physical community.

We notice that St. Matthew is careful to point out this happened 6 days after He "first began to speak" about his passion, death and resurrection. The passion of Christ is a scandal to the disciples of Christ. "Blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in me," (Mt 11:16). Even while dying on the infamous gibbet, our Lord was communing with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and all the saints and angels.

The Church is the mystical body of Christ. Many have said that his mystical body must undergo the same passion, death and resurrection. The current PR crisis in the Church is mostly a self-inflicted wound. However, do we malign the apostles because of the treachery of Judas? Never. The enemies of Christ are seeking to crucify the Church in her innocence, using her guilt as a handy occasion. The Transfiguration is for us. Even when the Mystical Body of Christ is being crucified, there is a spiritual dimension which lies invisible. The Church remains in a spiritual communion with God and the saints; she is still overshadowed by the Holy Ghost; she is still beloved of the Father; she is still the dwelling place of the friends of God. And this reality is terrifyingly awesome—more than any mere crucifixion.

Lord, it is indeed good for us to be here! God love you.

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