Wednesday, August 06, 2003

It is good that we are here!

When Pope John Paul prophetically added the Mysteries of Light to the meditations of the rosary last October, he remarked that the Transfiguration was the preminent "mystery of light" in that it exemplified the others in a remarkable way. I have meditated on the mysteries of light myself, now for about eight months. Over the course of these meditations it has become more apparent that one of the essential elements of the spirituality of these mysteries is the statement of St. Peter on the mount at the transfiguration, "It is good that we are here, Rabbi!"

The title Peter uses "Rabbi" or teacher is also illustrative of what the Christian life is all about as it is lived. Jesus teaches us by his passion, death and resurection to view the daily events of life in a way that is only possible if we have faith in Him. Suddenly every element of our lives becomes a potential ephiphany, likely encounter. Truly, "light has shone in the darkness."

The Liturgy of the Hours for today presents a reading from St. Paul in the Office of Readings. I found it an intersting choice until I arrived at this part of the passage:

We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practise cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness”, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

For those who live in the world and have not come to truly believe (place all of their trust in) in Jesus Christ (this would include many of us) there is a blindness that keeps us from seeing the light. The mysteries of light point out our need to truly be baptized ("I must decrease, he must increase"); to give the water of our humanity to the Lord that he might turn it into the wine of His Divinity; to seek first the Kingdom of God in all of our actions; to come to know the ways of the Lord in the Scriptures (exemplified by Moses, Elijah and Jesus transfigured in the world) and to be fed by His Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

Experiencing the Kingdom of God here on earth is something that the Eucharist makes possible. Our participation in the Eucharist takes us from our sinfulness, to God's revelation, to our acceptance of God's Kingship, to a seat at the Banquet and a meal fit for a King and then a mission to "go" back into the world and to experience it transfigured in the light of God's kingdom. Mother Teresa stands as the greatest example we have of what it would be like to be such a believer. Literally to see Christ everywhere!

Today's feast is an invitation to change, to repent, to have our eyes opened by the Master. At every moment of today say with St. Peter, "It is good that we are here, Rabbi" in your light we see everything anew, where before all we did was curse the darkness.