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Gospel Reflection by Father Doug Harris SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT (YEAR C) 17th March, 2019

THE TRANSFIGURATION (St Luke 9: 28-36)


Jesus takes Peter, James and John on top of Mt Tabor. Jesus is transfigured.


Jesus is described in the Book of Matthew: “His Face like the sun and His clothes as white as the light.”


In the Gospel of Mark: “Clothes dazzling white.” In the Gospel of Luke: “Clothing brilliant as lightning.” This gives us a glimpse of His glorified or divine state. A state that all people are called to. As Our Lord said: “the virtuous will shine as ‘bright as the sun’ in the Kingdom of Heaven.


Our Blessed Mother, for example, is said to be “as bright as the sun” according to the Catena of the Legion of Mary. In the Book of Revelations, Our Mother is the “woman clothed with the sun” (Rev 12:1-2). We are not called to live only on the level of the flesh or world but on the level of the Holy Spirit. Like Our Mother, in Luke’s Gospel, she is “full of Grace.”


We must realise how high we are called. We are called to be transfigured.


(Cor 15:43: “We are sown in dishonour but raised in glory.”) God calls us to be like Himself. Possessed by Jesus. Sharers in His Divine Life.


Our Lord began a new era. We are no longer limited by our flesh and the world, we are in the time of the Holy Spirit who is unlimited and who transfigures us.


At the Transfiguration Moses and Elijah appear. They worship Jesus. This affirms that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant Law (represented by Moses) and the Prophets (represented by Elijah).


In other words, through Jesus the Messiah, all the Old Covenant Law and the Prophets are fulfilled.


With the coming of the Messiah we began a new era. A new transfigured glory.


Moses and Elijah were speaking to Jesus. “They were speaking of His passing which He was to accomplish in Jerusalem”.


Jesus wants us to realise that His Passion will not be the end but will lead to His glorification or transfiguration or resurrection.


Likewise, as Jesus was not spared the Cross, we will not be spared the Cross. But today’s Gospel reminds us that the Cross is not our greatest negative, but our greatest positive.


We can never be transfigured without the Cross. The Cross is not the end (if we accept the cross out of love). If we carry the Cross as Jesus taught us by His Life then will be transfigured and that transfiguration will last for all eternity.


Sometimes the Cross is very heavy. For example, on the feast of the Transfiguration, 6th August, in the Year 1945 the Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima killing about 80,000 people vapourising everyone and everything within a radius of about 2 kilometres.


No matter how large the cross is, God is present and in charge. In the midst of this evil, stood a presbytery of Jesuit Priests who had just finished offering Mass. The Presbytery remained standing and all 8 Priests were free of radiation. (The evil one maybe strong, but he is nothing compared to the power of God.)


St John Pau II wrote:


“On Mt Tabor it was Jesus who was transfigured. When we come into the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament it is we who are spiritually transfigured.”


After Moses, who was at the Transfiguration, spent 40 days on Mt Sinai his face shone with the glory of God. When we spend time in the presence of Jesus we shine with the glory of God. Moses’ glory could be seen. It was external. The glory that a person receives from Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament cannot always be seen because it is internal, and it is divine. It is God Himself who makes His home in us.


Anastasius of Sinai wrote that when we are in Our Lord’s presence “our soul is made new. We are transfigured with Jesus. Moulded to His image ever being filed with His divinity being transformed from glory to glory.”



Every moment we are in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament we grow from one degree of glory to another.



Every moment we are in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament we grow from one degree of glory to another.



Every moment we are in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament we are constantly being filled with God Himself being transformed from the human level to the divine level.


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