Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
In the Transfiguration, something extraordinary takes place. God was made visible and manifest in the person of Jesus Christ. The disciples had an experience of seeing the Lord in a way they never had before.
“While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white” (Lk 9:28b-36).
After witnessing the Transfiguration of Jesus, St. Peter responds, “it is good that we are here!” St Peter discovered God’s presence, and he didn’t want to leave that moment. He suggests constructing three tents: one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. However, Peter forgets to include tents for himself, James, and John. Perhaps Peter reveals a profound truth in his actions. When we encounter God in the way that Peter did, when we experience the presence of God, seeing God manifest before our very eyes, we become free of our self-centeredness and only see the good in others. We become open to truly encountering God, hearing his voice, and listening to him.
Noise surrounds us throughout our days; however, do we really listen? When we choose to listen, we commit ourselves to focus and being present. It means we accept what we hear and create a response on our part to it. We choose what we want to hear and listen to, and often those choices are what is comfortable, affirming, and pleasant—not what is challenging or asking for a change in us. To listen to Jesus is the challenge of the Gospel, as it causes conversion and leads to a transformation.
When we encounter Jesus, we are never the same again. It is not easy and often takes a lot of work. Jesus brought Peter, John, and James from the valley of darkness to the mountain of light to experience the extraordinary. Each of us who has chosen to answer the invitation to be Jesus’ disciple has likewise journeyed with him from the valley into a great light. Every day we must fight the temptation to go back to the valley of darkness and ignore the magnificent promises and experiences that come only from Jesus.
As we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord his Saturday, August 6th, let us use this day to remind ourselves not to allow the winds of despair, fear, or doubt to lead us back into the valley of darkness. My friends, hold on to the faith and promises of Jesus. Hold on to your commitment to him, so your lives are never the same again, so you may continue to walk faithfully with God for the rest of your lives.
Peter’s Pence Collection
The annual Peter’s Pence Collection, to be taken up this weekend, provides essential support for the Holy See’s activities and helps Pope Francis assist the victims of wars, oppression, and natural disasters around the world.
For example, the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS)share the Gospel with and minister to people in places that the Church designates as mission lands due to their lack of resources and other challenges. When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world, the Holy Father established an emergency fund at PMS to address the needs of places in Latin America, Africa, and Asia where the pandemic posed a grave humanitarian crisis. With an initial contribution of $750,000 from the Holy Father, the Pontifical Mission Societies provided relief to people in South Africa, Pakistan, Colombia, and other countries throughout the Southern Hemisphere.
Your contribution to Peter’s Pence helps fund not only the activities of the Roman Curia that assist the pope in the exercise of his ministry but also solidarity projects that aid those most in need – like the outreach described above. To learn more about the ways in which Peter’s Pence supports the Holy Father’s ministry of mercy, visit https://www.obolodisanpietro.va/en.html (English) or https://www.obolodisanpietro.va/es.html (español).
Please prayerfully consider supporting this year’s collection as an act of mercy and charity. Join our brothers and sisters in faith from around the globe to help Pope Francis to carry out his ministry to the Universal Church and reach out to the most marginalized in our world.
Diocesan Catholic Schools
Our Diocesan Catholic schools encourage you to consider sharing your time and talent working in one of our many locations throughout the Diocese. The Diocese currently has many opportunities; perhaps you may discover a new career path, a way to develop new gifts and talents; all will offer you some way to contribute to the formation of future generations. I invite you to learn more about our various job openings here.
As we begin this last month of summer, a season I particularly enjoy, my prayers go to each of you that during this time, you may find rest and joy.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha