GOSPEL. ST. MATT, xvii, 1-9.
(The Transfiguration of Jesus, and the Contrition of 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 over shadowed them. And lo a voice out of the cloud 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.
Our divine Savior manifested Himself to His disciples, Peter, James, and John as the Son of God to Whom this glory belongs; as the Savior Who merited this glory for Himself and for His faithful; and as the head of all the elect with whom He will share His glory. For this reason, O Christian soul, He requires that in this life you strive after this transfiguration by hoping for that glory, by despising all things that may hinder you from it, in other words, by the diligent practice of mortification and self-denial both of soul and body. As you have so often imitated Peter in his sin, so you should also imitate him in his contrition for sin. After Peter had denied Jesus, The Lord, turning, looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, as He had said : Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter going out wept bitterly. A single glance of Jesus moved the heart of Peter, and penetrated with sorrow he burst into tears. Jesus, your Savior, has perhaps looked deeply into your heart in His divine mercy and love by the voice of your parents, your pastor, your teacher, your confessor, or by means of inward admonitions and external events; and you perhaps have never repented of your sins out of love of Jesus as did Peter, or even out of fear of punishment, or from a consciousness of the shamefulness of your sins. In preparation for your Easter confession and communion, repent of your ingratitude, shun every sin, avoid the occasion of evil, and pray for the grace of true sorrow and compunction.
LET US PRAY.
O God, Who beholds us destitute of all strength, preserve us both inwardly and outwardly, that our bodies may be free from all adversity, and our souls purified from all evil thoughts.
Divine Savior, Jesus Christ, through the repentance of Thy penitent disciple, Peter, Grant us true and perfect contrition for our sins, that our souls may be transfigured here by Thy grace and hereafter by Thy glory. Amen.