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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

August 6th: Transfiguration of Our Lord (C)

1st Reading (Dan 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: 96
R/. 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.

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.

Because you, o Lord, are the Most High over all the earth, exalted far above all gods.
2nd Reading (2Pt 1,16-19): Beloved: 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.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt 17,5): Alleluia. This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 9,28-36): Jesus took Peter, John and James and went up the mountain to pray. And while He was praying, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became dazzling white. Two men were talking with Jesus: Moses and Elijah. They had just appeared in heavenly glory and were telling him about his departure that had to take place in Jerusalem.

Peter and his companions had fallen asleep, but they awoke suddenly and saw Jesus' Glory and the two men standing with him. As Moses and Elijah were about to leave, Peter said to him, «Master, how good it is for us to be here for we can make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah». For Peter didn't know what to say. And no sooner had he spoken than a cloud appeared and covered them; and the disciples were afraid as they entered the cloud. Then these words came from the cloud, «This is my Son, my Chosen one, listen to him». And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was there alone. The disciples kept this to themselves at the time, telling no one of any¬thing they had seen.

«Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents (…)»

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, while pondering over the Transfiguration, we can sense man situation in Heaven. What interest us the most is to consider the spontaneous reaction of those "earthly partners" of that scene. Once again, is Simon Peter who takes the floor: "Master, it is good for us to be here" (Lk 9:33). It is wonderful to see that, only by looking at the body of Christ in a glorious mood, Peter feels fully happy: he does not miss anything else

"Let us put up three shelters, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." Peter’s reaction shows the truest dynamism of love: he thinks no more of his own comfort; he wants to save that level of deep joy, by seeking the good of others (in this case, by interpreting it in a very human way: some shelters!). It is the clearest manifestation of true love: I am happy because I make you happy; I am happy by offering me to your happiness.

Besides, the fact that Simon intuitively recognizes Moses and Elijah is very revealing. Peter, logically, knew about them, but had never seen them (they had lived centuries earlier!) but, instead, he identifies them immediately (as if he had always known them). Here is a sample of the high degree of knowledge of man in Heaven: when looking at God "face to face", man will experience an unimaginable expansion of his knowledge (a much more profound participation in the Truth). Finally, «"divinization" in the other world will bring to the human spirit “such a range of experience of truth and love such as man would never have been able to attain in earthly life» (St. John Paul II).

Finally, Simon, when seeing Moses and Elijah, not only accepts them instantly, but also loves them immediately (he thinks of putting up a shelter for each one of them). St. Peter, Pope (the first one of the Church), but also a fisherman, expresses his love in a simple way; St. Teresa, nun, but Doctor (of the Church) expressed the logic of love in a profound way: «the contentment of pleasing the other exceeds my own contentment».