Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our Baptismal life needs to grow and be constantly nourished. Lent is the time to prepare ourselves to renew our Baptismal promises. The tradition of the Church keeps the Transfiguration for the Second Sunday of Lent. We hear in the Gospel of this Sunday that “Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves” (Mk 9:2). We see in this
transfiguration a parallel with Jesus at the agony of Gethsemane, in which he takes the same disciples - Peter, James, and John - and goes away to pray, right before the suffering of his passion and cross. The Transfiguration is a necessary preparation for the mission, for the cross, and the suffering that was going to be the mission of Jesus and is the mission of all his disciples.
Another parallel event of the transfiguration is the Baptism of the Lord. “Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, ‘This is my beloved Son. Listen to him’” (Mk 9:7). Remember that when Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan, “A voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Mk 1:11). The transfiguration is a way to see with faith, that is, to encounter the risen Jesus at the other side of the cross. We can only experience the resurrection as we go through the sufferings of our Lenten penances doing two things: rediscovering our baptism and listening to the voice of Christ. How do we rediscover the joy and beauty of our baptism and listen to the voice of Christ? By listening to the preaching of the Gospel.
In order to enter into the mission the Lord has for us, that entails suffering, the cross, sacrificial love, giving our life, Jesus takes us, like the disciples, to discover his glory, and experience his resurrection. We need to go away like Peter, James, and John so that Jesus may reveal to us the glory of his crucified Love to the point of death, and we may experience the new life of Christ beyond death, eternal life. As a parish, that means that we need to become missionary. We need to constantly renew our beautiful and joyful encounter with Christ. Many of us still do not encounter and see the Risen Lord in a personal way. The purpose of our building project, the purpose of all the activities we do is to go to the peripheries, as Pope Francis constantly repeats, to bring our brothers and sisters to that encounter with Christ.
I would like to invite you to pray about and to be a a part of a time of a missionary effort we are about to begin at Queen of Peace. We are beginning Faith Formation Catechesis for adults and youth 13 and older. These catechesis, or talks, are not just about more knowledge. They are an opportunity to listen to God’s voice and to begin to rediscover our Baptism. I ask you to be open to listening to the witness of people who have experienced the action of God concretely in their lives. The team giving the catechesis - made up of myself, seminarians, couples, and single people - is simply giving what was once given to us, an announcement that created a change of
direction in our lives. For me, that was returning to the Church, reconciling with my parents, and realizing my vocation to the priesthood.
The catechesis will take place Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Room, starting this week. Give God an opportunity to speak to you in a new way. Today, we are not where we were before in our life; when we took Catechism classes; or when we learned the faith many years ago. To receive Jesus Christ proclaimed is to receive life!
Fr. Felix P. Medina-Algaba, Pastor