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The Transfiguration of the Lord, 2017 August 5-6, 2017

Posted on 06 Aug 2017, Pastor: Rev. Jeff McGowan

1st Reading: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away.

Psalm 97  The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.

2nd Reading: 2 Peter 1:16-19  Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.

Gospel: Matthew 17: 1-9  “Rise, and do not be afraid.”


I’d like to suggest that today’s Scripture begs the question: Is there a reality that corresponds to the deepest desires of our heart?

Jesus and his disciples were on their way to Jerusalem and it wasn’t looking good. He proclaimed the Kingdom of God, the Good News, and the response was: who is this guy? Didn’t we grow up with him? This incident came at a time when Jesus was being celebrated for the healings and feedings, but the Pharisees and Scribes were relentlessly attacking him. The people didn’t know who was the good guy and who was the bad guy. So, I’m guessing they would be wondering whether reality corresponded to the deepest desires of their heart. They sense something really important, perhaps even glorious, is about to happen, is happening, and yet, it all seems so dark and cloudy. The beauty of Christ caught them by surprise.

I don’t have to tell you, we don’t live in the Garden of Eden. There are challenges, struggles, heartbreak and tragedies in our lives. Along with creation itself, as St. Paul said, we groan inwardly until Christ returns to wipe away every tear and establish his kingdom with us in joy and laughter.

But, I’d say we experience our own transfigurations. Couples in love make the world brighter, for them ice cream tastes better when they are together, they don’t mind the rain at all, in fact holding hands, they actually enjoy walking in the rain! The rest of us see them and can’t help but smile. Have you ever looked at parents looking at their child in their arms? The tendency is to look at the child, but have you looked at the faces and seen the love of the parents? It’s so beautiful, you could almost cry from the joy. Have you ever seen a young child running into grandpa’s arms? Have you seen the look on grandpa’s face? I could go on and on but just one more: One of my favorite moments as a priest is watching as a bride approaches the altar and seeing her face when she makes eye contact with her groom. As I am standing next to the groom, there’s so much energy it is awesome. But isn’t that what love does? And isn’t our deepest desire to love and be loved? Love transfigures all of us. It drives away fear, makes light of risks, lifts our spirits and gives us a reason to get out of bed and live. Love glows radiantly upon all who see it and manifest it.

Oh yes, we have our challenges, but oh yes, yes indeed, reality does correspond to our deepest desires. Love is the way, the truth, and the life, and that is good news!