In Sunday’s Angelus address, Pope Francis reflects on the Transfiguration of Jesus and urges Christians to turn our experience of prayer into a desire to bring hope to the world.
By Devin Watkins
Before the traditional Marian Angelus prayer, Pope Francis spoke about the Transfiguration, as narrated in the Sunday Gospel (Mk 9, 2-10).
He began by considering what Jesus said to his disciples before taking them up the mountain. Jesus had just revealed that he would be sentenced to death but would rise again.
“The image of a strong and triumphant Messiah is put into crisis, their dreams are shattered, and they are distressed at the idea that the Master in whom they believed must be killed as the worst of evildoers,” said the Pope.
With these concerns in their hearts, the disciples follow Jesus to the mountain, where he is transfigured before them.
Pope Francis said that Jesus reminded them that he would conquer death.
“His radiant face and gleaming robes, giving a preview of his image as the Risen One, offer those frightened men the light to pierce the shadows.”
New point of view
The Pope continued to reflect on Peter’s words: “Rabbi, how good that we are here!”
He said the Apostle’s expression of thanks is a reminder that the Lord never lets darkness have the last word.
When we face seemingly endless trials, the Pope said, we need another point of view: “a light that illuminates in depth the mystery of life and helps us go beyond our state of mind and the criteria of this world.”
We too, he emphasized, are called to climb the mountain with Jesus so that every fragment of our life is illuminated by his victory at Easter.
However, Pope Francis warned, we must not allow our joy at the Transfiguration to turn into “spiritual laziness.”
“We cannot stay on the mountain and enjoy the beauty of this encounter for ourselves,” he said. “Jesus himself takes us back to the valley, in the midst of our brothers and sisters and to daily life.”
Spiritual laziness, the Pope said, pushes us to rest in the satisfaction of our own well-being, ignoring the struggles that others face.
“Climbing the mountain does not mean forgetting reality; praying never means avoiding life’s difficulties, “he said.
Pope Francis concluded his catechesis by urging Christians to transform our experience with Jesus and bring His light throughout the world.
The mission of every Christian, he said, is to light “little lights in people’s hearts; to be little lamps of the Gospel that carry a little love and hope.
And the Pope asked the Blessed Virgin Mary to accompany us to welcome the light of Christ, care for it and share it with our brothers and sisters.