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The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Transfiguration...

I was planning to write something short on the Transfiguration this weekend, but I didn't really get to it. I think the Transfiguration is one of those great Gospels which can be interpreted so well to reflect the life of the ordinary Christian.

It is in a way the experiential climax of the journey of the three Apostles who climb with Jesus up the mountain and there experience the transfiguration of our Lord, in which His majesty, of being God, radiates forth through His human body. But while this might be the climax of the journey, or at least the journey up to pentecost, it is not the greatest moment...

The greatest moment is not when Jesus shows His glory as God, but the greatest moment is when Jesus is nailed to the cross out of love of us! And this stark contrast shows exactly the stark contrast we experience in our lives as Christians. Maybe, because I am a convert, it seems more clear or more vivid to me, but it seems to me that the Christian life is a journey which can be seen in the journey of the Apostles, with the main difference, perhaps, that for us it happens over and over again, almost like our yearly liturgical cycle.

Initially the Apostles are touched by the encounter, and invitation, of Jesus. In the Gospel of St. John we read that Jesus says, 'come and see' on the request where he lives. Andrew and John, I think, go with Jesus, and spend some time with Him. From that moment their lives are never the same again! Another example is Nathaniel, who is suddenly converted just because Jesus says 'I saw you sitting under the fig tree'. Whatever happened there, it made a profound impact on Nathaniel, showing the profound touch Jesus can have in our lives.

An so it is with us, we are touched by JEsus, in some way. In some way this encounter makes a difference, and it opens up our being to a communion with God. But this is only the beginning of the journey. It is an initial invitation in which God asks us to trust in Him and to 'leave our nets behind' and follow Him. Then gradually he instructs us along the way while we slowly open up ourselves to His presence. For example, we start to read a small bit of the bible, the Word of God every night before going to bed, or say a small prayer on our way home when passing the local church. Slowly the reality of what life is really about, the depth and breath of what it is to be fully human. Sometimes this process takes a while, sometimes it can be difficult, but at the same time, slowly it reveals more and more of the beauty and goodness of God as everything is revealed to us to a point when suddenly we are on top of the mountain...

However, this is, as with the Apostles, a part of the journey, and not its end point. We might be on the mountain for a while, but eventually we are called down, we go back to our 'ordinary life' and it seems that the closeness of God is no more than a distant memory, maybe almost feeling like a fairy tale...

...this however is only illusion! God is always close to us. While on the way to Jerusalem, these forty days of Lent, we walk with Jesus who is with us. And while we might be discouraged along the way, might deny Jesus one, two or three times, He is always there for us to support us, He is there to be with us, and he goes down himself to give His life out of love for us...

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