Father Cantalamessa on the Transfiguration
Pontifical Household Preacher Comments on Sunday's Gospel
ROME, FEB. 19, 2005 (Zenit) - In a commentary on this Sunday's Gospel passage, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the Pontifical Household, reveals that the secret to being a true Christian is to fall in love with Jesus.
* * *
"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. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, 'Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.' While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.' When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, 'Rise, and do not be afraid.' And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, 'Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.'"
Why are the faith and religious practices in decline and do not seem to constitute, at least for the majority, the point of reference in life? Why the tedium, the exhaustion, the bother in fulfilling one's duties as believers? Why are young people not attracted? Why is there, in a word, such dejection and lack of joy among believers in Christ? The occurrence of the Transfiguration helps us to answer these questions.
What did the Transfiguration mean for the three disciples who witnessed it? Until then they had known Jesus in his external appearance, a man not different from others, whose provenance, customs, tone of voice ... they knew. Now they know another Jesus, the true one, who cannot be seen with the eyes of every day, in the natural sunlight, but who is the fruit of an unexpected revelation, of a change, of a gift.
For things to change also for us, as for those three disciples on Tabor, something similar must happen in our lives to what happens to a young man or woman when they fall in love. In love, the other, who before was one of many, or perhaps an unknown, all of a sudden is the only one, the only one in the world one is interested in. Everything else recedes and becomes part of a pale background. One cannot think of anything else. There is a real transfiguration. The beloved is seen as in a luminous halo. Everything about that person seems beautiful, even the beloved's defects. One might even feel unworthy of the person loved. True love generates humility.
Specifically, true love changes to a degree even one's life habits. I have known young men whose parents couldn't get them out of bed in the morning to go to school. If a job was found for them, they soon abandoned it. Or they were careless in their studies, never getting their degree. Then, when they fell in love with someone and got engaged, they jumped out of bed in the morning. What happened? Nothing, simply that what before they did by constriction now they do by attraction. And attraction is capable of doing things that no constriction achieves; it gives wings to one's feet. "Each one," the poet Ovid said, "is attracted by the object of pleasure itself."
Something like this, he said, should happen once in a lifetime to be true Christians, of conviction, joyful. "But the young woman or man is seen, is touched!" one might object. Yet, Jesus is also seen and touched, but with other eyes and other hands: those of the heart, of faith. He is risen and is alive. He is a concrete being, not an abstraction, for those who have this experience and this knowledge.
More than that, with Jesus things go even better. In human falling in love there is artifice, attributing to the beloved talents that perhaps that person doesn't have and often in time one is obliged to change one's opinion. In Jesus' case, the more one knows him and the more one is with him, the more reasons are discovered to be proud of him and confirmed in one's choice.
This does not mean that one must be relaxed and wait for, including with Christ, the classic "love at first sight." If a boy or a girl stays shut-in in his house without seeing anyone, nothing will ever happen in his life. To fall in love one must often be with the beloved! If one is convinced, or simply begins to think that perhaps to know Jesus in this different way, transfigured, is beautiful and worthwhile, then one must begin to "be with him," to read his writings. His love letters are the Gospel: There he reveals himself, he is "transfigured." His home is the Church: It is there that he can be found.
https://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Transfiguration, Gospel, Cantalamessa, Love, Jesus, Matthew
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Secretariat resigns after 'Lettergate' scandal
- Daily Readings for Thursday, March 22, 2018
- Data taken from Facebook is being used to control you HD Video
- Daily Reading for Friday, March 23rd, 2018 HD Video
- 'Living Lent': Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent - Day 37
- St. Lea: Saint of the Day for Thursday, March 22, 2018
- Pope Francis: Communion unites us to Christ
- Sin HD
- NOT AGAIN Ă˘Â€Â" Ă˘Â€ÂMultiple casualtiesĂ˘Â€Â™ at Maryland school shooting HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education