Connecting to the Transfiguration of the Lord Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Perrotta   
Sunday, July 30, 2017

of the Lord

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 9
2 Peter 1:16-19
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

You don't have to work to discover the message of today's Gospel. Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, Lord of all. And the implications are made as explicit as possible: Listen to him! Do what he says!

Each of us can grapple with this without much explanation. Where should Jesus' lordship over me make a difference in how I'm living? What particular word is he speaking to me that I need to respond to?

Yet the transfiguration may seem less accessible than other moments in Jesus' life. Singing Christmas carols, who hasn't had the sense of being right there at his birth? Praying the Stations of the Cross or joining in the Good Friday liturgy, who hasn't felt close to Jesus in his suffering?

But Jesus' transfiguration, at least for me, seems distant, hard to connect to. He restricted the event to three of his disciples, leaving the others at the foot of the hill. Why should I feel that I have an invitation? Who am I to expect to look on the uncreated glory of the Son of God?

It is possible to celebrate this feast as an outsider. "Great that it happened, but it's way out of my range of experience."

But that can't be right.

Jesus makes his whole life -- birth, ministry, last supper, death, resurrection -- present in the Mass. The liturgical calendar is not a PowerPoint presentation -- a series of slides showing things that Jesus did with other people 2,000 years ago. The Spirit wants to make these events present to us, so that we can enter into them -- in the liturgy and in the rest of our lives.

The Gospel says that Jesus took only Peter, James and John up the mountain that day. It doesn't say that he doesn't want to reveal himself today to Olivia, Robby, Jessica, Alfredo -- or Kevin.

And perhaps, in fact, we could say that in some way we have had some glimpse of revelation -- some moment of experiencing Jesus, his glory, his light? And perhaps, beneath our (false?) humility, that is what we want -- to join the disciples on the mountain and let Jesus reveal his glory to us?

If so, we can find hope in reading the first verse of today's Gospel as spoken to us. "Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain." He took them. As they made their way up the steep terrain, I picture him occasionally giving them a hand up -- a strong, carpentry-developed hand. "Guys, there's something I have for you up here. Come and see."

"Olivia, Robby, Jessica, Alfredo, Kevin . . .  Come and see."

Kevin Perrotta is the editor and an author of the Six Weeks with the Bible series (Loyola Press), teaches part-time at Siena Heights University and leads Holy Land pilgrimages. He lives in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
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Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intention: July 2017 Print E-mail
Beginning in 2017, the Pope will present one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than two. A second prayer intention related to current events will be added each month. The urgent prayer request will mobilize prayer and attention to an immediate situation.

July Prayer Intention

Pope's Prayer Intention:

Lapsed Christians.

That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.

Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2017.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Sunday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 25
Ascension Thursday
Tuesday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Wednesday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Friday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Monday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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