Pastor’s Corner for the Transfiguration of the Lord, Year A, by Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ
The feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord is celebrated on August 6. This was the date of the dedication of the first church built on Mount Tabor, which is traditionally considered to be the “high mountain” of the Transfiguration. There was solitude, the height of the mountain, great quietness, a transfiguration full of awe, pure light and a cloud stretched out (Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria).
This was an experience of cold, grey; joyless and hopeless. Everything that had been important becomes meaningless. Functioning in such a sea of despair was impossible during this period of desolation. The apostles Peter, James and John recognize the glory of God in Jesus beyond fear through a tear in the fabric of their reality. They see the dead who are alive and who talk to the living. Their truth is torn away in an instant and the illusions are gone and Truth who is Light revealed.
It is the touch of the Light that is within us that transforms our reality so that we may see the Light of God’s Being that is reflected in every grain of sand, blade of grass and moment of history. Something must die… something must be given away … sacrificed so that transformation can take place. This is our Transfiguration also… to see past death to the life that lies beyond… only then can we be freed from all fear and move into joy and awe that can never end.
Each glorious moment of encounter, each glorious achievement already contains in its moment the seeds of fear knowing that all comes to an end and knows decay.“We fear that this moment will end, that we won’t get what we need, that we will lose what we love, or that we will not be safe. Often, our biggest fear is the knowledge that one day our bodies will cease functioning. So even when we are surrounded by all the conditions for happiness, our joy is not complete.”
Only this grace of sacrifice, this “death” can lead us beyond all the beautiful glories that are our fading idols, the accolades that we hoard in our little treasure chest; these posturing, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position.
In Christ is the Light that gives light. In Christ is the Life that gives life. In Christ is the Truth that gives Wisdom. In Christ, we too are transfigured, becoming transformed beings. In Christ we see our own glory reflected in each bead of creation. Even through dimming vision or blinded eyes like St Francis, the Light of Christ is always burning … and so our joy is complete. The Transfiguration speaks to each one of us… an ending… a new and glorious re-birth… a redemption.
For the sick
Let us continue to pray for the sick members of our parish especially Benedicta Ngwebelele, Magola Legoale, Phoebe Ngwenya and Andrew Ledwaba.
Rev. Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ