This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Because of its rank as a feast on the liturgical calendar, it replaces the Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. The Gospel passage is the familiar story in which Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to a mountain and is transfigured before them. Moses and Elijah appear and seem to be speaking with Jesus. The climax of the Scripture account takes place when a bright cloud casts a shadow over them and a voice from the cloud says: “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Both Jesus and the disciples are transformed and come to a new understanding through this powerful experience: God has revealed to them who Jesus is, the Son of the Father, the Son of God. Only after a period of time did the disciples come to understand who he really was this truth: the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One was actually the Son of God. The Resurrection appearances to them affirmed what they had experienced in the transfiguration. Gradually, over a lifetime, we come to know who Jesus is and what he has revealed to us about the love of God. We experience Christ in new and deeper ways, through Scripture, the sacraments, and encountering the many members of the Body of Christ. When we look back on some of the experiences and events in our own lives that have changed us, we can see God’s hand and God’s plan in them. This week, let us think of a time in our own lives when Christ revealed himself to us in a deeper way and through it we were changed/transformed.
I had a wonderful retreat experience last week. Our retreat director was Father John Quigley, a Franciscan friar and priest who is an artist, preacher, and human rights activist. He worked as director of the OFM Office, for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation in Rome. He has traveled extensively throughout the world and worked with friars who lived in precarious situations of violence and civil unrest. He certainly knows his Scriptures, and is very familiar with the Holy Land. He spoke with great passion. Our two conferences each day along with Mass, time for prayer and reflection were most spiritually enriching for me.
Much has been happening in the parish this past week. The offices have officially moved to 3055 Harrison Street. The entrance to the offices is on the south side of the building. From now on, that building will be referred to as Saint John Paul II Parish Center. Thank you for your patience during this time of transition when staff may not have been readily available or when you may have been unable to reach us by phone.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ