Thursday, August 6, 2015

Alone With Them

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Minute Meditations

Loving Ourselves

If we really could come in touch with ourselves—not independent of God but because of the good that God is doing in us—and see that God even overcomes the evil that's in us, maybe we can begin to love ourselves.
— from The Gospels According to Saint Francis

Transfiguration of the Lord
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All three Synoptic Gospels tell the story of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-9; Luke 9:28-36). With remarkable agreement, all three place the event shortly after Peter's confession of faith that Jesus is the Messiah and Jesus' first prediction of his passion and death. Peter's eagerness to erect tents or booths on the spot suggests it occurred during the Jewish weeklong, fall Feast of Booths.

In spite of the texts' agreement, it is difficult to reconstruct the disciples' experience, according to Scripture scholars, because the Gospels draw heavily on Old Testament descriptions of the Sinai encounter with God and prophetic visions of the Son of Man. Certainly Peter, James and John had a glimpse of Jesus' divinity strong enough to strike fear into their hearts. Such an experience defies description, so they drew on familiar religious language to describe it. And certainly Jesus warned them that his glory and his suffering were to be inextricably connected—a theme John highlights throughout his Gospel.

Tradition names Mt. Tabor as the site of the revelation. A church first raised there in the fourth century was dedicated on August 6. A feast in honor of the Transfiguration was celebrated in the Eastern Church from about that time. Western observance began in some localities about the eighth century.

On July 22, 1456, Crusaders defeated the Turks at Belgrade. News of the victory reached Rome on August 6, and Pope Callistus III placed the feast on the Roman calendar the following year.


One of the Transfiguration accounts is read on the second Sunday of Lent each year, proclaiming Christ's divinity to catechumens and baptized alike. The Gospel for the first Sunday of Lent, by contrast, is the story of the temptation in the desert—affirmation of Jesus' humanity. The two distinct but inseparable natures of the Lord were a subject of much theological argument at the beginning of the Church's history; it remains hard for believers to grasp.


"At his Transfiguration Christ showed his disciples the splendor of his beauty, to which he will shape and color those who are his: 'He will reform our lowness configured to the body of his glory'" (Philippians 3:21) (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae).


Daily Prayer - 2015-08-06


Dear Jesus, today I call on you in a special way.
Mostly I come asking for favours.
Today I'd like just to be in Your presence.
Let my heart respond to Your Love.


Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life.
Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.
I ask that God, through my freedom may orchestrate my desires
in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.


How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted?
I may be very much at peace, happy to be here.
Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry.
I acknowledge how I really am. It is the real me that the Lord loves.

The Word of God


Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

Reading 1 Dn 7:9-10, 13-14

As I watched:

Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was bright as snow,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
his throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.
The court was convened and the books were opened.

As the visions during the night continued, I saw:

One like a Son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
The one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;
all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Responsorial Psalm PS 97:1-2, 5-6, 9

R. (1a and 9a) The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
Because you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth,
exalted far above all gods.
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.

Reading 2 2 Pt 1:16-19

We did not follow cleverly devised myths
when we made known to you
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received honor and glory from God the Father
when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory,
"This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased."
We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven
while we were with him on the holy mountain.
Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.
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.

Alleluia Mt 17:5c

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John,
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
"Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
"This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Peter cries out in delight and wonder, "Master, is good for us to be here!" This is how we are surely meant to experience the presence of God -- in wonder and delight, the created glorying in the Creator's presence. Too often, we glide along the surface of the spinning earth, never listening to its heartbeat. We look into the depths of the universe and never hear the singing of the stars.
  • When did I last sing and make melody to the Lord with all my heart or clap my hands or shout for joy to him?


How has God's Word moved me?
Has it left me cold?
Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me,
I turn and share my feelings with him.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.


Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Mark 9:2-10

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The Transfiguration of the Lord (Feast)

He was transfigured before them. (Mark 9:2)

Clearly the Church considers the Transfiguration to be a central event in Jesus' life—and in our lives of faith. Not only do we celebrate it every year on August 6, but we also read the story on the second Sunday of Lent every year. Why do we spend so much time with this story? One obvious answer is that the Transfiguration very clearly reveals Jesus as God's beloved Son. This vision was meant to help sustain the disciples through the dark days of his passion and death, just as it can sustain us in our own dark days. But there is another reason.

We know that Jesus had a human body just like ours. Now, as we see it shining with divine radiance, we see an image of great hope for us: we can be transformed as well! The Transfiguration isn't just for Jesus; it's for all of us fellow humans with him.

Yes, we will be transformed at the end of time when Jesus returns in glory. But that's not the only transformation that this story points to. The Transfiguration also tells us that we can be transformed, little by little, every day as we embrace God's word on the mountain: "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him" (Mark 9:7). As we quiet our hearts to hear Jesus' voice, his glory rubs off on us. His word changes our hearts. His love brightens our eyes. His glory helps us lift up our heads.

What a wonderful hope this message of transformation is! Without it, we're stuck right where we are. The best we can do is what Peter stammered out: erect a tent to honor what God has done for us. Of course, commemorating past blessings isn't a bad thing, but God has so much more for us. He wants us to move into the future with him. He invites us to follow him on his journey of love, through the cross to the risen life that he has promised to all of us.

So listen to Jesus today. Try to detect his still small voice in prayer, in nature, or in your circumstances. Listen to him, and he will raise you up!

"Jesus, show me your glory today! Let your unfailing love touch and change me."


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





Last night, sitting there with people I work with daily, we had a bible study type deal, diving into Sunday's readings and letting the Holy Spirit talk and explain them.  We were pretty amazed at how Elijah was wore out, wanted to give up and even asked God to just let him die.  Famished, an angel wakes him and says eat and drink for you have a long journey still ahead of you.  He found a little hearth cake and a jug of water.  It was enough to sustain him for the next 40 days to get to and climb the mountain of Horeb.  I tried to share how this is the case with the Eucharist, that little wafer cake and that little drink we take can propel our spirits and it is the spirit that is providing all the energy.  And so we have a prophecy from Daniel, about a God that gives dominion, power, and glory to the One He sends to us.  That power propels our spirits.  You need to partake of this to be energized for what will come.
The Psalms pray on "The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.  Because you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth, exalted far above all gods."  I like this.  Who is God?  What is God?  What's He like and what is going on here?  WHOA! Whoa, let's slow down here.  For if we don't even know ourselves or can control ourselves, how can we begin to know God and thus let Him control us?  The Lord is King.  Ok?  Why have other gods, other loves before Him?  I told one worker in a message "come to our bible reading prayer group, unless you have better things going on".  He replied that he didn't have better things going on...and he didn't come.  It's as if we pay lip service.  I asked the group last night "how would you respond to the comment "I don't go to church because they are a bunch of hypocrites".  Think about it.  Because we were reading a part in the bible that said "So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma." Eph 4:30 and the context of this comes from Ephesians 25 and forth "Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, for we are members one of another.t u do not let the sun set on your anger,* v "  Sometimes I read that last verse at nights while kneeling doing the only liturgy of the hours prayer I do.  Don't leave room for the devil.  Let the Lord be the King.  He is above all gods...yet we make other things more...better things going on...
The Holy Gospel reveals the Lord in new way.  He is revealed to 3 men and in 3 different Gospel books the same story is recounted the same...God is shown in splendor of a King and Moses comes and Elijah, these two men had bread from Heaven served to them, both were provided with water when dying of thirst.  God, Jesus, was this bread provided, this drink of this thirst that we suffer from...who is God, where am I? Where am I going?  And..."I just can't go on".  This is the God that answers all these questions.  Why would I want to know God?  So I can have Him all figured out?  So I can pre-judge His motives?  Because, most atheists have this god thing pretty well figured out...and this is dangerous...dangerous to the soul.  Right now, the image of our Lord is being blurred.  Yesterday, I wrote to a catholic parish renewal program and at one point in an email I said "I've done throughout the years all these retreats, classes on CDs and very few people respond and commit in our parish".  Some person named "Dody" responded and at the end of the email said"... I fully understand your "smoldering wick" - God can fan that into flame again. Our Church did not get this way overnight so it will not be relit overnight, but I believe this is the place to start."
And so, I can say the devil discourages.  But sometimes these temptations, they are not even the devil's fault, for temptations are everywhere, it is our fault for not biting and eating the right things and seeing the right things. 
I prayed to God before writing to you and I heard a voice (usually speaks a prophecy), and it simply said "Open Your Eyes".
I opened them staring at a light, lights that I bought from a man that I prayed with and was given a miracle...his wife was healed from cancer after we prayed at the Blessed Sacrament...and all he wanted was to sell me a light and I showed him the light.  But what he doesn't know, and I know he is reading this right that when he walked into my office...I only saw Jesus.  And thinking of that moment makes my heart pulse, pumping tears into my eyes and things are blurry now.  Open your eyes suddenly means so much.  Your heart will see Jesus, I promise.  And the day you do, nothing else will matter.  I told the light seller when he called yesterday "it's those moments that we experienced that keep me going" and those moments come every time I see the Blessed Sacrament opened, a heart is opened and Jesus comes in

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