Transfigured in Divine Love

He wants to transfigure us, and make us into his masterpiece with the brush strokes of his cross.
— Monsignor John Cihak

Key Takeaways

  • There are two questions to consider before this mystery of the transfiguration: Why was Jesus transfigured, and will I be changed by his transfiguration?

  • As a result of this divine love between the Father and the Son that's revealed in the transfiguration, we get to share in this glimpse of Jesus's divinity.

  • When we suffer in love, we begin to be transfigured. No longer confined to the narrow parameters of this life, but instead, caught up in the boundless love of the Lord himself. And the one who lovingly accepts his share of the cross and carries it with Jesus (because we're not supposed to carry it on our own, but with Him)...will be transfigured in the likeness of the risen Christ.

Full Audio Transcript

00:01                                 I hope y'all enjoyed father Tim Furlow last week and it sounded like it was a great turn out for the mission. I think we had... We took kind of a head count that was reported back to me. The numbers of the mission increased each evening and we started at like 162 and ended at about 175 at the, for the, uh, for the final session. And I think there were three hours of confessions a day with Father Tim. And then in the evenings of two nights, Msgr. O'Connor came over and heard confessions as well. So it's just very, very encouraging, uh, for, for that. And that's precisely what a mission is for, is to get us revived and, and, uh, and reconciled with the Lord to, to accomplish and prepare ourselves for holy week.

00:46                                 My mission was all right too. It probably wasn't as good as that one. It's a beautiful church, Saint Patrick's. Their patronal feast is this weekend, but it's a tiny little church underneath the Fremont bridge on the west side. One of the oldest churches in the diocese, absolutely beautiful. It holds about 150 people, but uh, but it's a very small community, but very committed community.

01:13                                 In any case, Rafael and we just heard that beautiful Italian from, from Luigi for the second reading. Rafael Sanzio was one of the greatest artists in renaissance Italy and one of his great masterpieces that was made for St Peter's Basilica and now displayed in the Vatican museum depicts the transfiguration story we just heard and with an incredible use of oil and canvas. And given the sheer size of the painting is this painting is massive. Rafael draws the viewers into the painting itself so that the viewer seems to take his place next to saints Peter, James, and John and his master brushstrokes bring us to reflect upon this mysterious event of the transfiguration.

02:06                                 There's two questions to consider before this mystery. Why was Jesus transfigured and will I be changed by his transfiguration score to that first question?

02:22                                 Jesus was transfigured because he is love. He is the God of love in the flesh. And you know right before his transfiguration happens, Jesus tells his disciples this. In Luke chapter nine 22. The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the scribes and be killed on the third day be raised. And after foretelling his own upcoming death, his passion by which we are saved. He says this: if anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23.

03:10                                 Here is the revelation of his great love for us to suffer and die, that we might be saved, that we might know how far he is willing to show he loves us. And this love is so intense. The divine love that he is, is so intense and it's so great is that it's as if Jesus, his body just cannot hold it in anymore. And glory shoots out of his, of his body brighter than the sun. He's revealed as the Almighty Lord and flanked by Moses and Elijah who represent the prophets and the law of the Old Testament. And they were speaking about his upcoming exodus in Jerusalem, not from Egyptian slavery to earthly freedom, but from a far greater exodus from the slavery of sin into freedom in Christ, from death to eternal life.

04:19                                 Moses and Elijah prepared the way and now the Messiah is here and the Father so moved by his sons, his son's love and willingly offering himself in obedience to his will. He can't hold himself back either. His voice thunders from the dark cloud: This is my chosen son. Listen to him. Look at my son. If you want to know me, look at my son and look how much I love him and how proud I am of him.

04:59                                 And as a result of this divine love between the father and the son that's revealed in the transfiguration and that we get to share in these important apostles had a glimpse of Jesus's divinity. That this man they were following was in fact God himself. This revelation of this divinity strengthens Peter, James and John to, to prepare them for the suffering and death of Jesus and divine love revealed in the cross changes us. Our Lord's love that comes to us from the cross transfigures us to be like him. And it's for this reason the church gives us the transfiguration on the second day of Lent.

05:53                                 During Lent, we too are being prepared for the cross. And this is a time. So I hope every Christian, there comes a time in life when every Christian should realize what Jesus did for his or her own life. To be confronted by so great a love and to be changed by that love.

06:19                                 And these three important apostles were changed, and each of them went on to carry their share of the Lord's cross with his help. Saint James was executed by King Herod. Saint Peter, as we know was crucified upside down and Nero's circus in Rome. Saint John was exiled and these three principal apostles were transfigured by that love that comes through the cross.

06:47                                 So what about us? Will I be changed? And where is the cross in my life? You know, we spend so much effort in life and the world around us tells us to do this. We spend so much effort in life denying our cross, avoiding it, setting up our lives so that we never have to face it when all along it is the greatest and really only important reality in this life. Because the cross is the only way into the life of the Father.

07:23                                 And when seen through Jesus' eyes, he has transformed the suffering of the cross. That it is not a curse and not a sign that the Lord has abandoned us, but it is in fact salvation and the revelation of his love for me.

07:41                                 And so Jesus asks us to unite our suffering to his out of love. To be united with him in his love and thus to be transfigured. And so united to our Lord's cross, our sufferings become redemptive for the world's salvation, because that's what it means to be a member of Christ. Not only do we unite our sufferings to his, but that means that he shares everything that he is with us.

08:15                                 When we suffer in love. We begin to be transfigured. No longer confined to the narrow parameters of this life, but caught up in the boundless love of the Lord himself. And the one who lovingly accepts his share of the cross and carries it with Jesus (because we're not supposed to carry it on our own, but with Him)... That person will be transfigured in the likeness of the risen Christ.

08:45                                 And this is the, the, the change that Jesus wants to work in us. He wants to transfigure us, make us into his masterpiece with the brush strokes of his cross. And a great way to be transfigured by divine love and the power of the cross is to go to confession. We have so many go. I think they were upwards of 130 during the mission. We had 75 or so this morning at our, at our penance service. And if you didn't catch those opportunities, there's lots more with our expanded confession times during Lent. And the other penance services and the vicariate.

09:25                                 But this is, this is what is set before us, the mystery of the cross in the transfiguration and how we can be transfigured by entering into the Lord's cross with him. This second Sunday of Lent, Jesus invites us to be transfigured by his love, a love that will show its full force in the cross. And we are invited to enter his passion with him and to be transfigured with him and by him.

10:02                                 Jesus is the master artist who gave Raphael his talent and inspiration and now Jesus, the master artist wants us transfigured in a more beautiful way than Rafael's work. The canvas is the fabric of our very lives and his paintbrush is the cross.

10:28                                 May we be transfigured in divine love through that life-giving cross.


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Ashley Micciche