Thursday, August 6 ~ Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Feast of the Transfiguration
Holy Gospel: Matthew 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.
Meditation: Saint Jerome’s meditation on the Transfiguration of Jesus is worth reading as part of our meditation: “Do you wish to see the transfiguration of Jesus? Behold with me the Jesus of the Gospels. Let him be simply apprehended. There he is beheld both ‘according to the flesh’ and at the same time in his true divinity. He is beheld in the form of God according to our capacity for knowledge. This is how he was beheld by those who went up upon the lofty mountain to be apart with him. Meanwhile those who do not go up the mountain can still behold his works and hear his words, which are uplifting. It is before those who go up that Jesus is transfigured, and not to those below. When he is transfigured, his face shines as the sun, that he may be manifested to the children of light, who have put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light (Romans 13:12). They are no longer the children of darkness or night but have become the children of day. They walk honestly as in the day. Being manifested, he will shine to them not simply as the sun but as he is demonstrated to be, the sun of righteousness.”
Prayer: O God, who in the glorious Transfiguration of your Only Begotten Son confirmed the mysteries of faith by the witness of the Fathers and wonderfully prefigured our full adoption to sonship, grant, we pray, to your servants, that, listening to the voice of your beloved Son, we may merit to become co-heirs with him. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: When God speaks to those present in today’s Gospel and says “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him…” God is also saying that to you, to me, and to every man, woman and child. And so we must ask ourselves: do I listen to Jesus, or do I turn a deaf ear to him? Do I pay attention to what Jesus teaches me, or do I think I know better – “Here’s what I think” or “Here’s what I feel.” If your thoughts or feelings water down, detract or are contrary to what Jesus is revealing to us in sacred scripture, then you need to peel away the layers of the onion more and ask yourself whether or not you truly believe in Jesus? For if you truly believe in Jesus, and what he reveals to us and teaches us, then we ask for nothing more – not our own thoughts, opinions or feelings, which are of human origin – for we need nothing more than Jesus as he has the words of everlasting life.