Letter from the pastor
Dearest Friends in Christ,
St. Leo the Great says, “The principal aim of the Transfiguration was to banish from the disciples’ souls the scandal of the Cross.” The disciples would never forget this drop of honey that Jesus gave them in the midst of his grief. Years later, St. Peter would recall this moment in all its clarity: “And the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,’ we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.” (2 Peter 1:17-18)
It is clear that for St. Peter and the other Apostles this mountain experience of the Transfiguration and later the “mountain” experience in the upper room after the resurrection, led them to that fearless proclamation of the Gospel. It led them to see with great clarity that sacrifices, self-denial, suffering and even death are all of this world and are passing, but what is beyond the veil of earthly vision is this glorified, beatific vision of the Divine. Our citizenship is in heaven and so we must always guard ourselves against any temptation by being strengthened from time to time in these “mountain” experiences where we are drawn beyond the earthly veil into a glimpse of the glory of God where we are reminded that the secret to the spiritual life is to listen to the Son.
In other words, just like the Apostles, we experience this Transfiguration moment through retreats as well as through our daily prayer. But most importantly we experience the Transfiguration, that mountain moment, by coming to Mass where we pass from an earthly vision of mere bread and wine into a type of Transfiguration and we behold the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Son, whom we ought to listen to. The receiving of Our Lord in the Eucharist is the greatest of all mountain experiences and gives us the strength needed to face our daily struggles. Although we cannot remain caught up in this state of Transfiguration while we sojourn on earth, we can however take this “mountain” experience into our daily reality of life, listening to Jesus by turning away from temptations and sins through our fasting, almsgiving and prayer.
Pax et bonum,
Fr. Justin R. Ferguson