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Homilies preached by Father Altier on the Feast of the Transfiguration
A VOICE IN THE DESERT FROM THE EXCERPTSOFINRI.COM | 5/10/2006 | milesjesu

Posted on 05/10/2006 2:29:02 PM PDT by MILESJESU

Monday August 6, 2001

Feast of the Transfiguration

Reading I (Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14)

Reading II (2 Peter 1:16-19)

Gospel (St. Luke 9:28b-36)

We celebrate today the Feast of the Transfiguration.

This was one of the most important feasts for the Fathers of the Church. They recognized this as being so important because it was a clear indication of Our Lord's divinity. Now, the amazing thing of this, of course, is that Jesus was divine from all eternity. He did not become God - He is God. And He never was not God. He is always God from all eternity and will always be God for the rest of eternity. But when He became man, He hid His divinity behind the humanity so that we were not able to see the divinity. On this one occasion He allowed that divinity to be demonstrated very clearly. It was a prefiguration of the Resurrection and it was a prefiguration to all of us of the glory to which God is calling us, as well: to be able to share in His glory and our bodies will take on a similar kind of transfiguration when they rise from the dead, they will glow.

When we see that description of the heavenly throne that Daniel saw, as he says: "I saw One like the Son of Man coming upon the clouds," that again, is the same thing. We see the glory of God: flames of fire shining around Him, and from where He sat there were rays coming forth. That is the glory of the divinity that Daniel is seeing. Then, he sees One like the Son of Man, who (as we have seen in Daniel before) is clearly Jesus, sent down to this earth.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: fraltier; homilies; thetransfiguration
Monday August 6, 2001

Feast of the Transfiguration

Reading I (Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14)

Reading II (2 Peter 1:16-19)

Gospel (St. Luke 9:28b-36)

We celebrate today the Feast of the Transfiguration.

This was one of the most important feasts for the Fathers of the Church. They recognized this as being so important because it was a clear indication of Our Lord's divinity. Now, the amazing thing of this, of course, is that Jesus was divine from all eternity. He did not become God - He is God. And He never was not God. He is always God from all eternity and will always be God for the rest of eternity. But when He became man, He hid His divinity behind the humanity so that we were not able to see the divinity. On this one occasion He allowed that divinity to be demonstrated very clearly. It was a prefiguration of the Resurrection and it was a prefiguration to all of us of the glory to which God is calling us, as well: to be able to share in His glory and our bodies will take on a similar kind of transfiguration when they rise from the dead, they will glow.

When we see that description of the heavenly throne that Daniel saw, as he says: "I saw One like the Son of Man coming upon the clouds," that again, is the same thing. We see the glory of God: flames of fire shining around Him, and from where He sat there were rays coming forth. That is the glory of the divinity that Daniel is seeing. Then, he sees One like the Son of Man, who (as we have seen in Daniel before) is clearly Jesus, sent down to this earth. Again, we see that the divinity is hidden, even though He is presented before the Ancient One and all glory, dominion, and honor is His because He is God.

Yet, as we heard in the second reading, "we possess the prophetic message as something altogether reliable." We see this particular prophecy in the vision of Daniel having its fulfillment when One who is a Son of Man, who is also God with all glory and honor and dominion, would come down to earth, and hide His divinity behind our humanity. It is in that that He would do His work and glorify His Father. And He would require of us extraordinary faith to be able to look at Someone, who by appearance seems only to be one of ourselves; and yet, the essence is Somebody who is infinitely beyond us from all eternity, but became one of us so that we could become like Him. That is what He holds out for us.

So, that is the glory that we celebrate today: the glory of Our Lord being shown, even in His humanity; but also, the glory for ourselves as we look forward to our own resurrection, as we look forward to the fulfillment of the promises. If the prophetic message is something altogether reliable, how much more reliable is the word of Jesus Christ Himself. And that is what we have: the promises of the Lord Himself, as well as all the promises of the prophets of old. This is something that we can count on. It is something that we know will happen. If there was any doubt, He chose this one occasion in the entire course of His life to allow His true glory to be seen, to allow that radiance to shine through His humanity, to show to us the foretaste of the promise of what he has said will be ours in the resurrection.

Note:Father Altier does not write his homilies in advance, but relies solely upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

This text was transcribed from the audio recording with minimal editing.

Tuesday August 6, 2002

The Transfiguration of the Lord

Reading I (Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14)

Reading II (2 Peter 1:16-19)

Gospel (St. Matthew 17:1-9)

In the second reading today, Saint Peter tells us that it is not by way of cleverly devised myths that they preached the message of Christ, and that they knew His majesty because they were with Him on the holy mountain. It was that experience Saint Peter is pointing to - the experience of the Transfiguration - that changed everything for him. It was in this experience that they recognized His divinity. Even though Peter had acknowledged that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, he did not understand what exactly that meant. Even with what happened with the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, he still did not fully understand it. What did it mean that Jesus would be raised from the dead? What did it mean to say, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased"? But one can understand from what Saint Peter is saying what kind of impact this experience had upon him. More than anything else, Saint Peter points to the Transfiguration as the turning point for himself, and that it was this point that he can look to above all others and say, "We didn't make this up. This is real; this happened. We were there when it happened and it is this that we are preaching to you."

In the early Church, the Transfiguration of the Lord was one of the most important feasts in the entire Church calendar because this demonstrated clearly the divinity of Our Lord. This showed more than anything else in the Scriptures that Jesus Christ is indeed God, not so much because He was transfigured, but because of the glory that shone upon Him and the voice of the Father that was heard proclaiming Jesus to be His Son. We read in the Scriptures, for instance, about when Saint John the Baptist saw the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and then the voice of the Father was heard. But the disciples did not hear the voice; it was only Saint John the Baptist who heard that voice. This time, the disciples heard it themselves; they knew, and they believed. They did not understand but they believed.

So too for us, even though we do not have the voice of the Father proclaiming Jesus to be His Son (that is, we do not hear it), nonetheless, we have this testimony from Saint Peter. We have his testimony that this is not a myth; this is not something they made up. This is something which changed the life of Saint Peter and of the other disciples, James and John, because they were there. They heard it and they prostrated themselves when they heard the voice of the Lord. Now, based on their testimony - which is not a myth, but rather, is one of absolute truth borne in power and glory and majesty - we too must prostrate ourselves before the majesty of Jesus Christ. In our hearts, we must lay ourselves flat when we recognize that He truly is the Son of God.

He is the One with whom the Father is well pleased and He is giving Himself to us. It is not a matter of going upon a mountain to be able to see the Transfiguration. What we are going to see is something even far greater: We are going to see a piece of bread turned into the Son of God. Not somebody who is in human form, hiding the divinity behind his humanity and, for one instant, the divinity comes forth to be able to shine like the sun coming from His face; but rather, what we see is something even more extraordinary: a piece of bread and a cup of wine being changed into the very humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ, hidden under the forms of bread and wine but no less real than what happened on Mount Tabor. And the voice of the Father is going to speak in the hearts of each one of us: "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him."

And so as we come before Him in prayer, and especially shortly after we receive Him in Holy Communion and He is present there substantially within our hearts and souls in the Blessed Sacrament, it is there that we need to listen attentively to His voice because He speaks not in the glorious, majestic voice of the Father speaking from the cloud, but in that silent whisper that Elijah heard, speaking within our hearts. We need to be attentive to His voice; we need to listen and we need to obey because this is the voice of God. This is the voice of the Son of God speaking to each one of us as He touches us and says, "Do not be afraid." We have nothing to fear because Jesus is with us. There is nothing at all to be afraid of because it is His Will and He is the One who is calling us.

We understand now, at least in principle, what it means for the Son of Man to be raised from the dead. We have heard; we have seen; we have believed. Now, like Peter and the apostles, we need to go out and preach that message; we need to bring that Gospel to others. It is not a myth; it is not something which is cleverly devised; it is the fullness of truth. It is hidden under the forms of bread and wine but it is Jesus Christ, true God and true man, the humanity and the divinity, shining forth within our hearts and speaking that glorious voice to each one of us in that silent whisper, calling us to believe, calling us to the knowledge of the glory of God shining forth in the face of Jesus Christ.

*This text was transcribed from the audio recording with minimal editing.

Wednesday August 6, 2003

Feast of the Transfiguration

Reading I (Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14)

Reading II (2 Peter 1:16-19)

Gospel (St. Mark 9:2-10)

In the second reading today from the Second Letter of Saint Peter, Saint Peter tells the people that it was not by way of cleverly concocted myths that they were made known to the people of God, but rather it was specifically by the power of the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ because, he says, “We were eyewitnesses when He received honor and glory from God the Father when that unique declaration came from the majestic glory: This is My Son, My Beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” And so when Saint Peter speaks about this, recognizing the honor and the glory that God the Father had given to Jesus, it is in this that Peter recognized initially the fullness of the share in the divinity that Our Lord had. Even though he had proclaimed this truth (as we read in Matthew 16, “You are the Son of God,” and Jesus proclaimed that Peter was blessed because he would not have received this from any man but only by revelation from the Father), still, Peter did not fully understand what it was that he had said.

Even after this particular point of the Transfiguration, we are told that Peter, James, and John did not really understand it. They were discussing with one another what to “rise from the dead” really would mean. What they had just seen was a vision of what it would be like, someone who was completely transfigured, someone similar to the vision that Daniel had when he saw God the Father on His throne with snow-bright clothing and the hair on His head white as wool and flashing fire coming from the throne and so on. Then he saw one like a son of man being presented before our heavenly Father. So all of these things Peter would have had in his mind as he pondered this, unable to speak about it to anyone except James and John because he had been forbidden to do so by Jesus. Yet, knowing these Old Testament prophecies, knowing, for instance, what Ezekiel talked about – having the graves opened and the people rising from them – knowing what people believed regarding the resurrection, that is, the party of the Sadducees and what they believed as opposed to what the Pharisees believed. We see in the New Testament that the Pharisees believed in the resurrection and the angels, the Sadducees did not. Peter would have been aware of why each one believed in what they did. And so as he saw what happened to Jesus, all of this would have been going on in his mind. He saw the fulfillment of the law that Moses had given. He saw the fulfillment of the prophets as Elijah was present. He was able then to understand all that had been said as he prayed about this and as he pondered it to the point that he could say, “It is not by way of cleverly concocted myths but rather by power and by a sharing in the glory and the honor of our heavenly Father.”

So when we think about this Transfiguration that we celebrate today and the fact that in His humanness Jesus allowed the divinity for this one particular moment to shine forth in His humanity as a prefiguration of the resurrection, not only for Himself but for each one of us, it is something that we also share in already because in the Eucharist that is Who we receive – and not only just the Resurrected Christ, but the Glorified Christ. Peter tells us that Jesus received honor and glory from our heavenly Father, and at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, in the Doxology, we say, “Through Him, with Him, and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are Yours, Almighty Father.” We have that exact same phrase of the glory and honor. So we see that Jesus is giving glory and honor to God, we give glory and honor to God, and God gives the glory and honor to Jesus, and through Jesus to us.

And so we share, in the Eucharist, in the resurrection of Christ from the dead already. In Baptism, Saint Paul tells us that we have already had a share in the death and resurrection of Christ. We live that out every time we receive the Eucharist, and it is the foreshadowing, the promise, of what it is that we are called to when our bodies too will share in that glory and honor, when we too will have the opportunity of rising from the dead. We do not yet understand exactly what that means. What will that look like in each one of us? How is it possible that the body rotting in the grave will be able to rise and be glorious and share in the very glory and honor of God the Father? Yet that is what we will do.

So like Peter, James, and John, we can ponder it. We will not fully understand it until it happens, but it is a truth, a truth that we have entered into in Baptism, a truth we celebrate every time we receive Holy Communion, and the truth that will find its fulfillment only when for each one of us there is a rising from the dead.

*This text was transcribed from the audio recording with minimal editing.

Friday August 6, 2004

Feast of the Transfiguration

Reading I (Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14)

Reading II (2 Peter 1:16-19)

Gospel (St. Luke 9:28b-36)

In the Gospel reading today, we hear about Our Lord being transfigured before His apostles, standing with Moses and Elijah who appeared to Him in glory, and Our Lord Himself showing the glory of His divinity. While there are certainly many indications in the Gospel of the divinity of Christ – walking on water, the various miracles that He performed, and so on – these things have also been performed on a human level; by God’s grace, obviously, but when we read the saints there have been some who have done those sorts of things. None, however (to my knowledge, anyway), have been transfigured; it is only the Lord Himself, in a clear demonstration of His divinity. But it is also interesting to note the context in which this transfiguration takes place. It is with Moses and Elijah who appear to Him and they talk about His crucifixion. They talk about the exodus, the Lord going forth from this world to the next – but only through the Cross. Most of us, if somebody talked to us about the suffering we were going to have to endure in order to become truly holy, might get depressed. The Lord, on the other hand, was so filled with the love and the glory of God that He was transfigured, that He glowed.

Now this is something which obviously is a singular event. Yet, at the same time, when we look at the first reading, we see that this is the nature of Who He really was. We hear the prophet Daniel speaking about God the Father and the glory of God. His clothing was bright as snow and His hair as white as wool, and He received glory and dominion. And we hear “One like the Son of Man” coming and sharing in the glory of God. So it is the nature of His divinity, and we even speak that in our creed. He is “God from God and Light from Light,” the brilliance of God, absolutely pure and perfect; there is nothing that hinders the light at all. So what His apostles were able to see was just a mere foreshadowing, not only of what Our Lord would be and what they would behold in the glory of heaven, but what they themselves would be as they united themselves with Christ. They were able to see what their own glory would look like one day in heaven. Not only did this strengthen them to be able to deal with what was about to happen to Our Lord, but it also strengthened them for what was going to happen to their very selves.

It needs to do the same for us. We need to realize that through all the trials and struggles and difficulties of this life we are transformed, not transfigured per se, but transformed. As Saint Paul says, we go from one degree of glory to the next as we are transformed into Christ. And if we are going to be transformed into Christ, we are going to share in His glory. While we certainly share in that glory in this life through grace, most of us probably are not going to be able to be transfigured, which is just fine – we do not need the attention. But this is what we are going to be forever. This is going to be the glory of the children of God. This is what God has chosen us for. He does not want us to just kind of plod through this life; He does not want us just to be able to behold Him from afar; He wants us to enter into His glory and to be able to share in His glory.

That dark cloud which overcame Peter and James and John with Our Lord is the cloud of God’s glory, the shekinah cloud, as the Jewish people would call it, the “glory cloud”. It is the cloud that filled the meeting tent when Moses met face-to-face with God. It is the cloud that filled the temple when Solomon first dedicated it to the Lord. It is the cloud that overcame our Blessed Lady when she conceived Our Lord in her womb. And it is the same cloud that will overcome us if we are willing to enter into God’s glory. It is called a dark cloud because, as we know, if we try to look at something that is too brilliant we will be blinded, and so God in His mercy lets us enter into the darkness. But it is in the darkness that the brilliance is understood and recognized.

If we are willing to enter into the darkness of prayer, into the abandonment that we sometimes will feel, into the dryness and the depth, but in so doing to know that we are entering into the brilliance of the love of God, it is there that the glory of God will fill us. It is not that we will say with Peter, “Let us build three booths,” because we know that we will never be able to contain God. Rather than trying to fit God into some little pattern of our own, it is just the opposite: We are brought into the glory of God and we will share in the glory of God.

What the apostles saw in the glory of the Transfiguration was the nature of Christ. Yet, for us, it is something which is supernatural, but it is not something which is impossible – for us, yes; for God, no – rather it is what He has held out for us for eternity. So for those who are faithful, for those who unite themselves completely with Our Lord, the glory of the Transfiguration will be ours, to behold Him face-to-face not merely from a distance but from within, to be perfectly united with Him, to have Him within us and to be drawn fully within Him, to share in the glory of the transfigured Christ, to be united with Him in the brilliance of the love of God, and to be able to give Him that glory which is His, but in which we will have a share forever.

*This text was transcribed from the audio recording with minimal editing.

1 posted on 05/10/2006 2:29:04 PM PDT by MILESJESU
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; Pyro7480; livius; MississippiDeltaDawg; ...

Homilies preached by Father Altier on the Feast of the Transfiguration PING!

PLEASE FREEPMAIL ME IF YOU WANT ON OR OFF THIS LIST


2 posted on 05/10/2006 2:35:10 PM PDT by MILESJESU (CATHOLICISM ROCKS. BLESSED BE JESUS CHRIST, TRUE GOD AND TRUE MAN IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT.)
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To: All

Homilies preached by Father Altier on the Feast of the Transfiguration BUMP


3 posted on 05/10/2006 2:39:18 PM PDT by MILESJESU (CATHOLICISM ROCKS. BLESSED BE JESUS CHRIST, TRUE GOD AND TRUE MAN IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT.)
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To: All

AWESOME HOMILIES ON THE TRANSFIGURATION BUMP


4 posted on 05/10/2006 3:52:01 PM PDT by MILESJESU (CATHOLICISM ROCKS. BLESSED BE JESUS CHRIST, TRUE GOD AND TRUE MAN IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT.)
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To: All

FATHER ALTIER'S HOMILIES ROCK BUMP


5 posted on 05/11/2006 4:24:11 AM PDT by MILESJESU (CATHOLICISM ROCKS. BLESSED BE JESUS CHRIST, TRUE GOD AND TRUE MAN IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT.)
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To: MILESJESU
American Catholic’s Saint of the Day

August 6, 2007
Transfiguration of the Lord

All three Synoptic Gospels tell the story of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-9; Luke 9:28-36). With remarkable agreement, all three place the event shortly after Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus is the Messiah and Jesus’ first prediction of his passion and death. Peter’s eagerness to erect tents or booths on the spot suggests it occurred during the Jewish weeklong, fall Feast of Booths.

In spite of the texts’ agreement, it is difficult to reconstruct the disciples’ experience, according to Scripture scholars, because the Gospels draw heavily on Old Testament descriptions of the Sinai encounter with God and prophetic visions of the Son of Man. Certainly Peter, James and John had a glimpse of Jesus’ divinity strong enough to strike fear into their hearts. Such an experience defies description, so they drew on familiar religious language to describe it. And certainly Jesus warned them that his glory and his suffering were to be inextricably connected—a theme John highlights throughout his Gospel.

Tradition names Mt. Tabor as the site of the revelation. A church first raised there in the fourth century was dedicated on August 6. A feast in honor of the Transfiguration was celebrated in the Eastern Church from about that time. Western observance began in some localities about the eighth century.

On July 22, 1456, Crusaders defeated the Turks at Belgrade. News of the victory reached Rome on August 6, and Pope Callistus III placed the feast on the Roman calendar the following year.

Comment:

One of the Transfiguration accounts is read on the second Sunday of Lent each year, proclaiming Christ’s divinity to catechumens and baptized alike. The Gospel for the first Sunday of Lent, by contrast, is the story of the temptation in the desert—affirmation of Jesus’ humanity. The two distinct but inseparable natures of the Lord were a subject of much theological argument at the beginning of the Church’s history; it remains hard for believers to grasp.

Quote:

“At his Transfiguration Christ showed his disciples the splendor of his beauty, to which he will shape and color those who are his: ‘He will reform our lowness configured to the body of his glory’” (Philippians 3:21) (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae).



6 posted on 08/06/2007 9:19:18 AM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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