Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Tomorrow is the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and it got me thinking about the Luminous mysteries of the rosary that Saint Pope John Paul II introduced in 2002. I highly recommend the Wikipedia article titled simply, ‘Rosary.” It’s a very interesting brief history of our devotion.

When Bubba and I walk (well, he walks and sometimes I ride) around the parking lot at night we say the rosary. The Luminous mysteries were really a great addition because they added events from the public ministry of Jesus.

The first mystery is the scene of Jesus being baptized in the Jordan by John. Jesus stands with all the penitents who have come to John for baptism. He wasn’t a sinner, but he wanted to show that he was willing to take on the burdens of those who were by standing with them. When he comes up out of the water, Mark tells us, “(Jesus) saw the heavens being  torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’”

Wow! Jesus hears His Father’s approval of his mission. In the next Luminous mystery, the Wedding at Cana, we hear Jesus saying to Mary, “My time has not yet come,” but Mary knew better. “Do what He tells you.” What else can Jesus do but work the miracle of water made wine. After all, his mother was watching.

The third mystery celebrates the Proclamation of the Good News. Then we come to the fourth mys¬tery, the Transfiguration.  Jesus takes his good buddies, Peter, James and John up a mountain. (These three will be with Him in Gethsemane as well.) We don’t know which mountain, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a symbol of a special place like Mt. Sinai where the law was given to Moses, or we see Jesus going to a mountain to pray or coming down from a mountain to preach. It’s about a place to encounter God in a special way. Peter, James and John surely did.

The three friends were terrified. A cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” They are entering the mystery of the glorification of the Son, but they don’t know it yet.

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Transfiguration happens just days after Jesus makes his first prediction of his passion and death. That really shook up his disciples. Now Jesus is giving them a glimpse of his glory. Jesus appears with Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophets). He is the fulfillment of both.

The disciples don’t really put it all together until after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Then it makes sense. Even death will have no power over Jesus. The Transfiguration is the prediction and the promise of the glory of God that Jesus will share with his disciples - and with us!

I’m just guessing here, but I think that things were getting so stressful for the disciples that it might have been hard for them to continue walking with Jesus, without the inexplicable Transfiguration experience. It told them something was going on that was bigger than all of them. And it was Peter who said, “To whom shall we go?” Maybe they might have been able to sing a little bit of the song, Surely, the Presence of the Lord is in this Place. Like I said, I’m guessing.

Imagine being somewhere with the Lord, and his Presence becomes this powerful surrounding cover/protection/comfort/shield... you pick the word. Whatever the word, we’re talking about the reality of love... a love God decides to offer us... a love I don’t want to miss, and I never want to lose. I’m not going to waste time wondering how I could lose it. I will focus on what I have with the purpose of keeping it.    

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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