Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday of the First Week of Lent


GOSPEL. ST. MATT, xvii, 1-9.

(The Transfiguration of Jesus and the Denial by Peter.)

At that time: Jesus took unto Him Peter and James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain apart: and He was transfigured before them. And His face did shine as the sun: and His garments became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with Him. And Peter, answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo a voice out of the clouds saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him. And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face: and were very much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them: Arise and fear not. And they lifting up their eyes saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of Man be risen from the dead.

On a high mountain, O Christian soul, Jesus shows His disciples a reflection of His glory and magnificence. Not in the tumult of the world, but in the greatest solitude and retirement, will you become like unto Christ and reach eternal glory. But even in this world our Savior glorifies with inward peace, content, and holy consolation those souls that love Him sincerely, and out of love for Him avoid every sin and imperfection. However, in those moments of interior joy it is all the more necessary to distrust oneself lest he fall into sin. Just that disciple who delighted most in the transfiguration and displayed too much self confidence was permitted by our Lord to fall in the course of the bitter passion of Jesus. But Peter sat without in the court and there came to him a servant-maid saying: Thou also wast with Jesus, the Galilean. But he denied before them all, saying: I know not what thou sayest. And as she went out of the gate, another maid saw him, and she saith to them that were there: This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath: that I know not the man. And after a little while they came that stood by, and said to Peter: Surely thou also art one of them: for even thy speech doth discover thee. Then he began to curse and to swear that he knew not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which He had said: Before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. And going forth he wept bitterly.
O how often, Christian soul, have you acted like Peter. When you are successful, when you experience divine consolation and believe that you see a ray of the glorious transfiguration of your Savior, then you should be especially watchful over yourself and reflect humbly on the denial of our Lord by Peter.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, look with favor upon Thy people and mercifully turn from them the scourge of Thy wrath.

Divine Savior, lead us unto Mt. Tabor or unto Mt. Calvary, but grant us the grace always to mistrust ourselves, to place all our confidence in Thy goodness, always to confess Thee faithfully and thus to attain the eternal transfiguration. Amen.

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