Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

8/6/2016 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We will all be transfigured, as the Lord Himself was transfigured, when our redemption is complete in the Resurrection of the Body. Then, we will live in the new heaven and new earth. This reality is meant to affect the way we live our lives beginning right now.

From the earliest centuries, the Christian Church emphasized the centrality of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Our experience of our life in the Lord - and in His Church - is only the beginning of what is to come in the kingdom. However, our life is already a participation in that new reality. The Church, in the words of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, is a seed of the kingdom to come. Our life within the Church is a participation in the eternal realities of the life to come in a new heaven and a new earth - that begins in the here and now. The commemoration of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ invites us to reflect on what this all can mean for us - right now. As we reflect on the Transfiguration of Jesus, let us enter more deeply into the mystery it reveals by living in the Transfiguration now. It truly is good for us to be here. Let us draw encouragement from the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and respond to the invitations of grace in our daily lives in order to grow more fully into the Image and likeness of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord revealing His Transfigured glory to a world waiting to be born anew.

He was doing so much more than simply encouraging them. He was showing them who He was - and who they would become in Him. He was revealing to them what had already begun; and giving them a vision that would forever change the way they viewed themselves, their daily lives and their mission, after He would return to the Father.

He was doing so much more than simply encouraging them. He was showing them who He was - and who they would become in Him. He was revealing to them what had already begun; and giving them a vision that would forever change the way they viewed themselves, their daily lives and their mission, after He would return to the Father.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/6/2016 (4 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Transfiguration, born again, salvation, glorification, transformation, Feast of the Transfiguration, Living Faith, Born Again, Baptized in the Spirit, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - "Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him...
" (Matt 17)

"Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up a mountain to pray.While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem..." (Luke 9)

The Feast we celebrate in the Liturgical calendar of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church this day is an ancient one. However, the early Christians viewed its implications in their own lives much differently than we often do.

Christians of the Eastern Church, Catholic and Orthodox, not only celebrate the importance of this Feast liturgically, but they have held on to the ancient Christian understanding of its significance in their daily lives.

This is an extraordinary Feast of hope which can help us to live differently. We are invited, by reflecting on this event in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, to focus us on the "end" of the Christian life. "End" in the philosophical and theological sense means purpose or goal.

We will all be transfigured, as the Lord Himself was transfigured, when our redemption is complete in the Resurrection of the Body. Then, we will live in the new heaven and new earth. This reality is meant to affect the way we live our lives beginning right now.

From the earliest centuries, the Christian Church emphasized the centrality of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Our experience of our life in the Lord - and in His Church - is only the beginning of what is to come in the kingdom. However, our life is already a participation in that new reality.

The Church, in the words of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, is a seed of the kingdom to come. Our life within the Church is a participation in the eternal realities of the life to come in a new heaven and a new earth - that begins in the here and now. The commemoration of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ invites us to reflect on what this all can mean for us - right now.

This event on the Mountain was meant to strengthen the faith of these three disciples. They were about to witness the events that would lead their Lord and Master along what would appear to be an ignominious path, up Golgotha´s lonely hill, to be crucified, a fate reserved for common criminals.

Their own faith would be shaken, tested and tried. He loved all who were His own in this world (John 13:1). Yes, as so many beautiful writings in the Tradition remind us, the Lord wanted to encourage them - and to encourage us.

However, this One who came from eternity and took upon Himself the limitations of time, was about to open the portal of eternity to all of us who are being re-created in Him. He would reveal to Peter, James and John the eternal now of His own glory.

He was doing so much more than simply encouraging them. He was showing them who He was - and who they would become in Him. He was revealing to them what had already begun; and giving them a vision that would forever change the way they viewed themselves, their daily lives and their mission, after He would return to the Father.

As they lived their lives no longer for themselves but for Him they began to undergo their own trials and walked the way to their own transfiguration. This is the path of all who bear His name. We entered through the waters of the womb of Holy Baptism into the life of the Church which is His Body. We are members of His Body now and through the Sacraments and our participation in the life of grace, he communicates His energy, His Divine Life to us.

We who bear the name Christian are works in progress, being re-created and transfigured in Jesus Christ as we cooperate with grace. He has brought heaven to earth and earth to heaven, through the Paschal mystery.

Oh, I know, this is "heavy" stuff as we used to say. It seems somewhat esoteric or perhaps "too theological" to some? But it lies at the heart of the message of hope which is the ancient and ever new Catholic Christian faith. On this Feast Day we are invited to consider whether the truth which it reveals is being embraced and experienced in our daily lives.

On that Mountain, Jesus revealed before mortal eyes the Transcendent Truth of who He is - and who Peter, James and John ...and each one of us - will become in Him. They were invited to exercise their freedom and embrace the path that He had prepared.

So are we, right now - today. Every day the grace of God is given to us to transform and transfigure us, in Jesus Christ.

On that mountain, Jesus was grounding them in the eternal Truth, and opening up for the countless millions who would hear this story from their faithful witness a glimpse of the Glory that is to come as we also choose Him in our daily lives.

Peter would later write of this experience: "His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.

"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love....

"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
." (2 Peter 1)

The Christian vocation is really a "participation in the Divine Nature" which began in the waters of Baptism and continues every single day of our lives on thei earth, stretching into the life to come.  We are being transfigured in Christ.

This transfiguration will only be complete when the entire person, including the body, is fully redeemed and transformed. The effects of the transfiguration involve the entire created order; it too will finally be reconstituted in Jesus Christ and handed back to the Father. The followers of Jesus, the Transfigured One, now walk in His Way and are being transformed into His likeness.

The Beloved Disciple John used this event of the Transfiguration as a hermeneutic, a lens through which he gave the early Christians a deeper insight into their difficulties, struggles and mission.
In his first Letter to the early Churches, he encouraged them to persevere and live differently by referring to the event that occurred on that Mountain. He encouraged them to not be surprised or discouraged that the "world" did not recognize them, but rather to persevere in love through holding the vision of a transfigured life before them:

"See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure." (1 John 3)

The Lord Jesus has shown us the way up the mountain. He has invited us into a new way of living in Him through living within the communion of the Church. Living in that Church we are invited to go into the world and invite all men and women, through the waters of the womb of Baptism, into the new communion of love where they can begin the process of conversion and transfiguration. Born again, we are all invited to join with Peter, James and John and cry out in our day: "It is good for us to be here."

As we reflect on the Transfiguration of Jesus, let us enter more deeply into the mystery it reveals. We can begin to live in the Transfiguration, beginning now. It truly is good for us to be here. Let us draw encouragement from the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and respond to the invitations of grace in our daily lives. We can  grow more fully into the Image and likeness of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord reveal His Transfigured glory to a world waiting to be born anew.

We are being called into an ongoing transformation in Jesus Christ, beginning right now.It is time to live the Feast of the Transfiguration.

-----
Deacon Keith A. Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and seven grandchildren. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate who served as the first and founding Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice in the nineteen nineties. He has long been active at the intersection of faith and culture and currently serves as Special Counsel to Liberty Counsel. Deacon Fournier is a Senior Contributing writer for The STREAM.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Living Faith

The Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception: The Virgin Mary Lights The Path To A Fruitful Advent Watch

Image of

By F. K. Bartels

The Church, explains John Paul II, "proceeds along the path already trodden by the Virgin Mary, who 'advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and loyally persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross'" (RM 2; LG 58). For this reason, it is especially important during ... continue reading


When you say 'yes' to God, MEAN IT - Pope Francis calls the faithful to be like Mary Watch

Image of Pope Francis calls us to be as the Blessed Virgin Mary.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

The contrast between the "no" of man in the Garden of Eden and the "yes" of Mary at the Annunciation was the heart of Pope Francis' message for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which he said is an opportunity for each person to renew their own commitment to ... continue reading


Did Pope Francis compare media obsession with fake news to consumption of bodily waste? Watch

Image of The media is obsessed with all the wrong things.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis has issued a statement against the media's obsession with fake news and gossip. Except, the term he used to describe the obsession is raising eyebrows. "Coprophagy," is the word he used to describe the obsession. Coprophagy is the practice of eating feces. ... continue reading


Beautiful tradition celebrates the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Watch

Image of Pilgrims travel to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe to celebrate the Virgin Mary.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Every December for the past five years, a pilgrimage of 400 riders on horseback travels to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Many dress in traditional Mexican garb, some bearing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, while others ... continue reading


Fr Paul Schenck on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the Pro-Life Mission Watch

Image of Mary the Mother of the Lord

By Fr Paul Schenck

I offer an analogy for the pro-life mission. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary did for the understanding of Christian doctrine what the pro-life movement does for the understanding of human dignity. The Immaculate Conception ... continue reading


What is 'coprophilia' and why is Pope Francis talking about it? Watch

Image of Pope Francis has issued a warning about the media's obsession with coprophilia.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis has issued a statement against the media's obsession with fake news and gossip. Except, the term he used to describe the obsession is raising eyebrows. "Coprophagy," is the word he used to describe the obsession. Coprophagy is the practice of eating feces. ... continue reading


'Let us also smile' - Pope Francis passionately encourages us all to smile through the hard times Watch

Image of Pope Francis reminds us to always smile - even through the difficult times.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

For Pope Francis, one of most needed virtues of modern time is hope, which is something he said must never be abandoned no matter how hard life gets, and which is often expressed in the simple act of a smile. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - Referring to the ... continue reading


Seven bishops, one abbot, and a psychiatrist dialogue with peace activists Watch

Image of During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops' fall assembly in Baltimore, several bishops and one abbot, gathered with about 25 peace activists [not pictured].

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops' fall assembly in Baltimore, several bishops and one abbot, gathered with about 25 peace activists - myself included - to share a simple meal and consider the horrible emotional, psychological and spiritual wounds suffered by ... continue reading


St. Ambrose: Hold fast to God, the one true good Watch

Image of

By St. Amborse, Bishop of Milan

Let us live in Christ, let us ascend in Christ, so that the serpent may not have the power here below to wound us in the heel. CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - From the treatise on Flight from the World by Saint Ambrose, bishop, Hold fast to God, the one true good. ... continue reading


'Courage!' Pope Francis demands 'a transformation' for all Catholics Watch

Image of Pope Francis urges us to confess our sins.

By Hannah Brockhaus (CNA/EWTN News)

As Christmas approaches, don't downplay your sins, Pope Francis said. Instead, name them honestly in the Sacrament of Confession, open your heart, and ask the Lord to heal you from within. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - If we  merely say: "yes, yes, I have ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11
1 Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire, his word flaring like a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
2 over Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh; rouse your valour and come to our ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 17:10-13
10 And the disciples put this question to him, 'Why then do the scribes ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 10th, 2016 Image

Pope Saint Gregory III
December 10: He was just standing there, not doing anything ... Read More