Archives, February 2010

Archive entry by Father Tom Sullivan moved from old website.

Sunday 02/28/10  Posted 02/27/10    5:45pm
Today’s Gospel gives us St. Luke’s version of the Transformation of Jesus. On Sundays of Lent other years we have Matthew and Mark’s version of the same story.

Oddly with all three, half of the first sentence in the story is left off in our Sunday readings. What’s left off is the information that the Transfiguration came one week after Jesus told his disciples that he would need to suffer and be put to death.

Luke, Matthew, and Mark had felt it important to tell us that, because the foretaste of heaven that came down on Jesus on the mountain was given to him to lighten a heart that was heavy with the sentence of a cruel death.

Luke tells us that the disciples awoke to see Jesus, Moses, and Elijah enveloped in glory. The three apostles, like all people in the ancient world, thought that heaven was just ten miles up above the sky. It seemed to them that heaven’s floor was like a giant diaphragm stretched down taking Jesus in, making him shine with heavenly brightness.

It was Moses and Elijah who came because they were the two mortals the Jews believed to be already in heaven. Luke tells us that what they were discussing with Jesus was the end of his life.

The whole thing is too mysterious for us to fully understand still it is included in the Bible for our good. We are to understand that somehow God gave Jesus a taste of heaven to lighten the sorrow he felt at his upcoming death. The story gives us a taste of heaven to help us get through hard times.   

Saturday 02/27/10 Posted 02/26/10    8:10pm
In the Gospel Jesus contrasts his new teaching with what Moses taught. He says that a good man no longer can be allowed to hate his enemies. There are seven of such contrasting teachings in Chapter 5 of Matthew’s Gospel. They are referred to as the seven antitheses. They are developments of the theme Jesus stated at the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount when he said, “I came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.”