DISCIPLESHIP OF FAITH & PRAYER COMMITMENT WEEKEND: FAITH & PRAYER BRING US TO EXPERIENCE THE TRANSFIGURED LORD IN OUR DAILY LIVES
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This weekend the Church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. “Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them” (Mt 17:1-2). This event calls the disciples to move forward in their faith journey with Jesus, to grow closer to Him, to experience his true identity, and to know Him better.
Jesus has wanted to encounter the disciples at a deeper level, and so he takes them away to the mountain to pray. In their time of prayer and purification with Jesus, the disciples discover that Jesus is himself “light from light”, filled with the glory, beauty and power of God. “His face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light” (Mt 17:2). They experience his resurrection perceptible to their senses. In the transfiguration, the disciples also discover Jesus' relationship with the Law and the Prophets (the Bible). “And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him.” (Mt 17:3). The Law and the Prophets, and the entire history of salvation, as well as our history, speak with Jesus; they speak of Jesus. The Scriptures, that is, the Law and the Prophets, are in dialogue with Christ, proclaiming that his Passion brings salvation; that it is filled with divine glory; that it is our change into light, freedom and joy.
The disciples also need to spend time hearing the voice of the Father: “"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him" (Mt 17:5) The scene recalls that of Jesus’ Baptism and our own Baptism, which made us beloved children of the Father. During our Discipleship of Faith & Prayer Commintment Weekend, we are celebrating that to leave worldly things in order to enter into our hearts and seek time with God will renew our baptismal life and attune our hearts to the Father's voice speaking to us, his beloved children. Now, the disciples must accompany Jesus back down the mountain and learn ever anew to see Christ’s glory in their struggles as they “listen to him.”
In the same way, Jesus wants us to see our life with Faith as we listen to him in prayer. The primary thing for a Christian is to be with the Lord. All of us need to spend quality time to enter into a personal, profound, daily relationship with Him. That is the mission behind our Discipleship of Faith and Prayer this weekend. We are consciously setting aside time to step away from our busyness and our worldly thoughts to spend time with Christ, like His disciples, and to learn to listen to Him. At Mass, we all had the opportunity to make a pledge to God to spend time with Him in a number of different ways, such as through the scriptures, the rosary, daily Mass, etc. One way to truly be in the presence of Jesus Christ himself is through Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. If you have not decided how you will spend your time with Christ, consider signing up for an hour of Perpetual Adoration each and every week. An hour in silence before the Lord will change your life!
If you do not sign a commitment card today, don’t worry, you can still do it. Please stop by the Parish Office and ask for a Discipleship of Faith & Prayer Pledge Card. If you are unsure of what to pledge, come to Open Door Meetings on Monday and we’ll talk about it. And if you are already spending time praying and developing your faith, I invite you to ask the Lord how He wants you to be closer to Him. Make the pledge, take a risk, and let God speak to your heart!
Father Felix P. Medina-Algaba