Friday, February 22, 2019
SATURDAY, 6TH Week in Ordinary Time
February 23, 2019 - SATURDAY, 6TH Week in Ordinary Time
St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr
Heb 11: 1 – 7 / Mk 9: 2 – 13
A disciple of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, St. Polycarp (d. 155), Bishop of Smyrna (now Izmir in Turkey), was martyred by burning at the stake by the Roman Pro-Consul.
From the Gospel Reading: Mk 9: 2 – 8, 11 - 13
Six days later. Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain. There his appearance was changed before their eyes. Even his clothes shone, becoming as white as no bleach of this world could make them. Elijah and Moses appeared to them; the two were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter spoke, and said to Jesus, "Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." For he did not know what to say; they were overcome with awe. But a cloud formed, covering them in a shadow, and from the cloud came this word, "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him." And suddenly, as they looked around, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus with them. . . .
Finally they asked him, "Why then do the teachers of the Law say that Elijah must come first?" Jesus answered them, "Of course, Elijah will come first so that everything may be as it should be. But why do the Scriptures say that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be despised? I tell you that Elijah has already come and they have treated him as they pleased, as the Scriptures say of him."
The Transfiguration of Jesus was a preview of the glory of his resurrection. In anticipation of Christ's passion and death on the cross, this key episode was meant to strengthen the apostles' faith that Jesus was the Messiah and for them not to lose hope in the dark times ahead. The same three apostles, Peter, James and John, privileged to witness the transfiguration, were also with Jesus at his agony at Gethsemane.
Like Peter, we may be tempted to set up tents on the mountaintop to prolong the spiritual high of being with the Lord in his glory. But, as with Peter and the other two apostles, we too must descend from the mountaintop to the reality of our daily lives, where God's presence is muted, if not seemingly even absent.
The challenge for us remains as it was for the three apostles, who did not understand Jesus telling them "to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man be risen from the dead." It is only by faith that we learn to discern God's voice and will for us, even if we do not feel his presence. We pray that we may learn and choose God's will rationally and not by our emotions.
Let us pray for the strength to continue forward despite uncertainties on what the next steps should be.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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