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2nd Sunday Lent :: A

2nd Sunday Lent :: A

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Published by: SaintJoseph on Sep 16, 2008
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Sunday of Lent 02-17-08
Prepared by Fr. Peter Girard, OP
Scripture ReadingsFirst
Genesis 12:1-4a
2 Timothy 1:8b-10
Matthew 17:1-91.
Subject Matter
The Lord revealed the radiance of His Holy Face on Mount Tabor; we gaze upon this sameglory each time we adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament.2.
Exegetical Notes
The Transfiguration is recorded in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke9:28-36). This event is also alluded to in 2 Peter 1:16-18 and John 1:14.
The Greek term for the Transfiguration in Matthew and Mark is
, referring toJesus as having undergone a “metamorphosis.” The Vulgate translates this as:
transfiguratus est 
Beginning with Origen (185-254), St. Irenaeus (120?-202?) and reaffirmed by St. Jerome(347-420),
Mount Tabor 
in Israel has been traditionally identified as the Mount ofTransfiguration (some scholars hold that
Mount Hermon 
is the correct location). Tabor is aprominent, rather isolated, cone-shaped mountain 11 miles west of the Sea of Galilee,currently called
. The view from the summit is singularly extensive and grand,standing directly on the ancient border between the northern and southern tribes of Israel.3.
References to the
Catechism of the Catholic Church 
: From the day Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, theMaster "began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things . . .
and be killed, and on the third day be raised."
Peter scorns this prediction, nor do theothers understand it any better than he.
In this context the mysterious episode of Jesus'Transfiguration takes place on a high mountain,
before three witnesses chosen by himself:Peter, James, and John. Jesus' face and clothes become dazzling with light, and Moses andElijah appear, speaking "of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem."
Acloud covers him and a voice from heaven says: "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen tohim!"
: For a moment Jesus discloses his divine glory, confirming Peter's confession. He alsoreveals that he will have to go by the way of the cross at Jerusalem in order to "enter into hisglory."
Moses and Elijah had seen God's glory on the Mountain; the Law and the Prophetshad announced the Messiah's sufferings.
Christ's Passion is the will of the Father: the Sonacts as God's servant;
the cloud indicates the presence of the Holy Spirit. "The wholeTrinity appeared: the Father in the voice; the Son in the man; the Spirit in the shiningcloud."
You were transfigured on the mountain, and your disciples, as much as they were capable of it, beheld your glory, O Christ our God, so that when they should see you crucified they would understand that your Passion was voluntary, and proclaim to the world that you truly are the splendor of the Father 
: On the threshold of the public life: the baptism; on the threshold of the Passover: theTransfiguration. Jesus' baptism proclaimed "the mystery of the first regeneration," namely,our Baptism; the Transfiguration "is the sacrament of the second regeneration": our ownResurrection.
From now on we share in the Lord's Resurrection through the Spirit whoacts in the sacraments of the Body of Christ. The Transfiguration gives us a foretaste ofChrist's glorious coming, when he "will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body."
 But it also recalls that "it is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom ofGod":
Peter did not yet understand this when he wanted to remain with Christ on themountain. It has been reserved for you, Peter, but for after death. For now, Jesus says: "Godown to toil on earth, to serve on earth, to be scorned and crucified on earth. Life goes downto be killed; Bread goes down to suffer hunger; the Way goes down to be exhausted on his journey; the Spring goes down to suffer thirst; and you refuse to suffer?"
: Christ's Transfiguration aims at strengthening the apostles' faith in anticipation of hisPassion: the ascent onto the "high mountain" prepares for the ascent to Calvary. Christ,Head of the Church, manifests what his Body contains and radiates in the sacraments: "thehope of glory" (Col 1:27; cf. St. Leo the Great, Sermo 51, 3: PL 54, 310c).Notes290. Mt 16:21.291. Cf. Mt 16:22-23; Mt 17:23; Lk 9:45.292. Cf. Mt 17:1-8 and parallels; 2 Pet 1:16-18.293. Lk 9:31.294. Lk 9:35.295. Lk 24:26.296. Cf. Lk 24:27.297. Cf. Isa 42:1.298. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 45, 4, ad 2.
299. Byzantine Liturgy, Feast of the Transfiguration, Kontakion.300. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 45, 4, ad 2.301. Phil 3:21.302. Acts 14:22.303. St. Augustine, Sermo 78, 6: PL 38, 492-493; cf. Lk 9:33.4.
Patristic Commentary and Other Authorities
St. Irenaeus of Lyon (120?-202?):
Gloria enim Dei vivens homo: vita autem hominis visio Dei 
, that is “For the glory of God is a live human being: and human life is the vision of God.”Cf.
Adversus Haereses 
St. Ephraem the Deacon (306-373): “For they saw his face bright as lightning and hisgarments white as light. They saw two suns; one in the sky, as usual, and one unusually; onevisible in the firmament and lighting the world, and one, his face, visible to them alone. Hisgarments white as light showed that the glory of his divinity flooded from his whole body, andhis light shone from all his members. For his flesh did not shine with splendor from without,like Moses, but the glory of his divinity flooded from him. His light dawned and was drawntogether in him.” Cf.
Sermon on the Transfiguration of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ 
, n.8.
St. Ambrose (339-397): “Peter saw this Grace: so, too, did those who were with him, thoughthey were heavy with sleep. For the incomprehensible magnificence of the Godheadoverwhelms the perceptions of our body. For if the sharpness of bodily vision cannot bear theray of the sun directly into watching eyes, how may the corruption of human membersendure the glory of God? And, thus, the garment of the body, purer and finer after theremoval of the materiality of vices, is fashioned for the Resurrection…. Therefore, keepingvigil, they saw His majesty, for none sees the glory of Christ unless he is vigilant.” Cf.
Exposition of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke 
, Bk. 7:17.
St. John Chrysostom (347-407): "Even then He did not display to us all the splendor of theworld to come. For that the vision was accommodated to human eyes, and not an exactmanifestation of the reality is plain from the very words of the Evangelist. For what did hesay? "He did shine as the Sun." But the glory of incorruptible bodies does not emit the samekind of light as this body which is corruptible, nor is it of a kind to be tolerable to mortal eyes,but needs incorruptible and immortal eyes to contemplate it. But at that time on the mountainHe disclosed to them as much as it was possible for them to see without injuring the sight ofthe beholders; and even so they could not endure it but fell upon their faces." Cf.
Exhortation to Theodore After his Fall 
, n.11.
Pope St. Leo the Great (d. 461): “And in this Transfiguration the foremost object was toremove the offence of the cross from the disciple's heart, and to prevent their faith beingdisturbed by the humiliation of His voluntary Passion by revealing to them the excellence ofHis hidden dignity. But with no less foresight, the foundation was laid of the Holy Church'shope, that the whole body of Christ might realize the character of the change which it would

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