Sunday, August 24, 2008
TRANSFIGURATION — THE FULL MYSTERY OF CHRIST
10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
EXPLORING ТHE GOSPEL
MATTHEW 17 :14-23
“After six days” - the words bind the haunting vision of the transfiguration to the preceding event of Peter’s confession and Jesus’ prediction of his fate in Jerusalem. Each of these episodes concentrates of the identity of Jesus and its implication for the disciples.
As Jesus and his disciples descend the mountain, the gloom of opposition & impending death appears. The disciples have been able to absorb this warning of Jesus (v. 13) but their faith remains weak. Their “little faith” (v. 20) once again prevents them from carrying out the mission of life entrusted to them. Earlier, Peter had allowed fear and “little faith” to stifle his power over the chaos of the sea (cf. 14:30). The same things happen again. The “little faith” of the disciples has stopped them from curing a young man seized with the spirit of lunacy. But if a disciple allows the power of God to work through him, “nothing will be impossible” (v. 20).
Jesus gathers his disciples together like a commander rallying his troops before a battle. A second time, he predicts the death and victory that await him in Jerusalem. The transfiguration confronts us with the full mystery of Christ: Jesus en route to his death, but the glory of his triumphant resurrection already putting that death into new perspective. - Donald Senior, CP -