Monday, August 6, 2012

Feast of the Transfiguration

We celebrate an event from the life of Jesus, when He took three of His disciples up Mount Tabor and shone with a divine light. Let us pray that the Light of Christ may shine on in prisons so that those who work there will treat inmates with respect for their human dignity. Our reflection is from Pope Benedict’s Angelus Address for this day in 2006.

Today, the liturgy invites us to focus our gaze on this mystery of light. On the transfigured face of Jesus a ray of light which he held within shines forth. This same light was to shine on Christ's face on the day of the Resurrection. In this sense, the Transfiguration appears as a foretaste of the Paschal Mystery.

The Transfiguration invites us to open the eyes of our hearts to the mystery of God's light, present throughout salvation history. At the beginning of creation, the Almighty had already said: "Fiat lux - let there be light!" (Genesis 1: 2), and the light was separated from the darkness. Like the other created things, light is a sign that reveals something of God: it is, as it were, a reflection of his glory which accompanies its manifestations. When God appears, "his brightness was like the light, rays flashed from his hand" (Hebrews 3: 3ff.).

In the New Testament, it is Christ who constitutes the full manifestation of God's light. His Resurrection defeated the power of the darkness of evil forever. With the Risen Christ, truth and love triumph over deceit and sin. In him, God's light henceforth illumines definitively human life and the course of history: "I am the light of the world", he says in the Gospel, "he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8: 12). In our time too, we urgently need to emerge from the darkness of evil, to experience the joy of the children of light!

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