Godzdogz

Godzdogz

The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Fourth Luminous Mystery: The Transfiguration

Sunday, September 14, 2014
‘“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).

St Peter witnessed what had been foreseen by the Prophet Daniel ‘and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him’ (Dan. 7:13). In the Transfiguration Christ’s true identity was made manifest. His face shone like the sun and ‘his garments became as white as light’ (Matt 17:2). The Son of Man and Son of God stood atop the holy mountain wrapped in all the glory of Heaven and wreathed in the sacred cloud from which sprung forth the voice of the Father.

Faced with such an awesome, and apocalyptic, sight who then could blame St Peter for assuming that the end of Jesus’s mission had come? It was his desire to set up tents and stay wrapped up in this Divine encounter. His presumption can be contrasted with the attitude of those disciples left at the bottom of the mountain. Immediately after the Transfiguration Jesus encountered a paralytic whom his disciples could not heal. Why, asked the disciples, were the unable to heal the man? “Because of your little faith,” Jesus answered them. If they had but a little faith they could have moved mountains (Matt 17:20).



Archbishop Fulton Sheen observed that whereas Peter had a desire for great Faith he lacked the zeal of the other disciples to do good work and those same disciples didn’t grasp the Divine dimension of charitable work. So it can be with Christians today: some seek such a devotion to the spiritual life that they forget to love their neighbour. Others are so wrapped up in helping the poor they forget their need for God.

In the Mystery of the Transfiguration Christians can help avoid these two pitfalls. By joining the Apostles on the mountain they can meet Christ’s divinity and dwell at the heights of faith. However they must then join them on the way down to go forth and share the fruits of their encounter with the whole world. 

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