Feast of the Transfiguration

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Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord on Mount Tabor.
Memorial of Hiroshima in Japan, where the first atomic bomb was dropped in 1945.


First Reading

Daniel 7,9-10.13-14

While I was watching, thrones were set in place and one most venerable took his seat. His robe was white as snow, the hair of his head as pure as wool. His throne was a blaze of flames, its wheels were a burning fire. A stream of fire poured out, issuing from his presence. A thousand thousand waited on him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was in session and the books lay open. I was gazing into the visions of the night, when I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, as it were a son of man. He came to the One most venerable and was led into his presence. On him was conferred rule, honour and kingship, and all peoples, nations and languages became his servants. His rule is an everlasting rule which will never pass away, and his kingship will never come to an end.

Psalmody

Psalm 28

Antiphon

Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

O give the Lord you sons of God,
give the Lord glory and power;

give the Lord the glory of his name.
Adore the Lord in his holy court.

The Lord's voice resounding on the waters,
The God of glory thunders.
the Lord on the immensity of waters;

The voice of the Lord, full of power,
the voice of the Lord, full of splendour.

The Lord's voice shattering the cedars,
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon;

He makes Lebanon leap like a calf
and Sirion like a young wild-ox.

The Lord's voice flashes flames of fire.
The Lord's voice shaking the wilderness,

The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh;
the Lord's voice rending the oak tree and stripping the forest bare.

The Lord sat enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits as king for ever.

The Lord will give strength to his people,
the Lord will bless his people with peace.

In this temple
they all cry : 'Glory!

Second Reading

2 Peter 1,16-19

When we told you about the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not slavishly repeating cleverly invented myths; no, we had seen his majesty with our own eyes. He was honoured and glorified by God the Father, when a voice came to him from the transcendent Glory, This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. We ourselves heard this voice from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain. So we have confirmation of the words of the prophets; and you will be right to pay attention to it as to a lamp for lighting a way through the dark, until the dawn comes and the morning star rises in your minds.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 17,1-9

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as dazzling as light. And suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them; they were talking with him. Then Peter spoke to Jesus. 'Lord,' he said, 'it is wonderful for us to be here; if you want me to, I will make three shelters here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.' He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and suddenly from the cloud there came a voice which said, 'This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him.' When they heard this, the disciples fell on their faces, overcome with fear. But Jesus came up and touched them, saying, 'Stand up, do not be afraid.' And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but Jesus. As they came down from the mountain Jesus gave them this order, 'Tell no one about this vision until the Son of man has risen from the dead.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

Today we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus. It is one of the most mysterious of the Gospel. The Church - aware of the connection of this event with the mystery of the cross - marks this celebration on August 6, that is 40 days from September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. There is a tight bond between the face of the Crucified and the one on the Mount Tabor: both are marked by love. It is a love that gives itself till the end and right because of this is able to transfigure everything. Jesus wanted to involve his three closest disciples in this mystery. All starts from a friendship which on Mount Tabor, in front of what is happening, reveals in Peter's words: "It is good for us to be here." Peter discovers the meaning of a totally different life. it is the amazement of those who experience every day that life is not beautiful but rather marked by bitterness, misunderstanding, by our anxieties, uncertainties and questions to which we cannot find an answer. How is it possible to be different? Aren't we condemned to always repeat ourselves? Stuck in our limits, defects and habits? And don't society and the world seem to be condemned to violence and abuse? In today's reading the prophet Daniel speaks of a nocturnal vision in which God manifests himself in history. it is an ancient prophecy that asks us to raise from being harshly hardened. The Gospel comes towards us and shows Jesus who transfigures himself in front of us. It is the god news that there is a way of life different from what we think and see. Certainly the memorial of the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima reminds us that tragedies are possible if the world cannot transfigure itself. In such cases it risks to be "disfigured" in a dramatic way as during that year of second world war. Jesus transfigures himself because he wants that we and the world transfigure ourselves. And, just stopping on one only reflection, we could say that friendship with Jesus, allowing to love us, transfigures us and makes us capable of transfiguring also the world.