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    Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul

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Spiritual Reading Week for Sunday 6th August

31 July 2017 CGI news Spiritual readings

Spiritual Reading Week for Sunday 6th August

Week of 31st July 2017 (reference: readings for Sunday 6th August)

Transfiguration of the Lord

Reading: 2Peter 1,16-19; Mt 17,1-9

"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to Him"

Vincentian Reflection

This week we celebrate the "Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus".

Transfigure means changing the figure, the appearance. It is worth analysing in which "figure" Jesus was transformed. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that "his face shone like the sun; and his clothes were white as the light. Therefore, here is the importance of light; the light that illuminates the path, the light to read and write. For those who have eyesight, it is impossible to imagine life without light. Many times we do not realize its importance; only when we do not have it we value it properly.

Jesus becomes light! It is interesting the fact that Moses and Elijah appear close to Jesus and a voice from heaven says: "this is my beloved Son, in which I am well pleased. Listen to Him! ". An important message was being proclaimed: all that the Old Testament had explained about Moses and Elijah was well known, but the Son of God is Jesus; He is the light; He is the one to be heard!

It is curious how we live looking for epiphanies (important events of God’s manifestation in our lives). We live wishing to be chosen, as were Peter, James and John, whom Jesus "took with him and led them to an isolated place, atop a high mountain". We live wanting Jesus to transfigure in many things: in a new house, in a miraculous healing, in the change of a person that makes us ill. And that is totally human, because the search for transformation, for the inner change, is what takes us forward in life. But Jesus often arises in our life as light and we don't pay much attention, we do not understand well what happens, exactly as it happened with Peter, who, with good intentions, proposed to build tents for Jesus, Moses and Elijah. However, the message was not the construction of tents, or the keeping of the ones we already possess: the message was to focus on light, to understand light, to hear the light... and leave everything else.

As on many other occasions, Jesus realizes that the Apostles were filled with fear; they did not understand anything of that shocking phenomenon, and he tells them no to fear. It was as if he were saying: do not be afraid because light was especially shown to the three of you, so that you understand it. Jesus tells them to explain what they saw only after the resurrection. And so did Peter, in his letter written much later.

As Vincentians, it is worth thinking how many times Jesus transforms himself in front of us, in the house of the Poor that we help. How many times do we arrive to the Poor filled with fear, fear of our insecurities, our failures, our future? Sometimes we are afraid even of the Poor we serve, thinking that he is going to deceive us, to use us in order to obtain material things. Is Jesus not in the house of the assisted person, showing us the light, saying that He is the beloved Son? Does not Jesus transfigure himself in the person of the Poor in each visit, asking us to listen to him, saying that He - the Poor - is the beloved Son in whom God is well pleased?

We do not need more epiphanies: every encounter with the assisted person is an epiphany and invites us to change our life and to follow the light of Christ.