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Pope Francis Talks about the Transfiguration 08.03.20


Pope Francis: Talks about the Transfiguration 08.03.20


Pope Francis   08.03.20  Angelus Apostolic Palace Library, St Peter's Square  2nd Sunday of Lent Year A    Matthew 17: 1-9

Pope Francis at Angelus talks about theTransfiguration 08.03.20

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

This prayer of today's Angelus is a little strange, with the Pope caged in the library, but I see you, I am close to you. And I would also like to start by thanking that group present in the Square that manifests and fights "For the forgotten Idlib". Thank you! Thank you for what you do. But we do this way of praying the Angelus today as a preventive provision, so as to avoid the close concentration of people, which can favour the transmission of the virus.

The Gospel of this second Sunday of Lent (cf. Mt 17:1-9) presents to us the account of Jesus' Transfiguration. He takes Peter, James and John with Him and climbs a high mountain, a symbol of closeness to God, to open them to a fuller understanding of the mystery of His person, who will have to suffer, die and then rise again. Indeed, Jesus had begun to speak to them about the sufferings, death, and resurrection that awaited Him, but they could not accept that prospect. For this reason, when Jesus reached the top of the mountain, He immersed Himself in prayer and was transfigured before the three disciples: His face, the Gospel says, shone like the sun and His clothes became as white as light.

Through the wonderful event of the Transfiguration, the three disciples are called to recognize in Jesus the Son of God shining with glory. They thus advance in the knowledge of their Master, realizing that the human aspect does not express all His reality; in their eyes the otherworldly and divine dimension of Jesus is revealed. And from above a voice rings out that says, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him" (see 5). It is the heavenly Father who confirms the investiture – let's call it that – of Jesus already made on the day of baptism in the Jordan and invites the disciples to listen to Him and follow Him.

It should be emphasized that, in the midst of the group of the Twelve, Jesus chooses to take Peter, James and John with Him up on the mountain. It is reserved for them to witness the transfiguration. But why were these three chosen? Because are they the holiest ones ? No. Peter, in the hour of trial, will deny Him; and the two brothers James and John will ask to have the first places in His kingdom (cf. Mt 20:20-23). Jesus, however, does not choose according to our criteria, but according to His plan of love. Jesus' love has no measure: it is love, and He chooses with that design of love. It is a free, unconditional choice, a free initiative, a divine friendship that asks for nothing in return. And as He called those three disciples, so even today he calls some to be close to Him, so that He can bear witness. Being witnesses of Jesus is a gift that we do not deserve: we may feel inadequate, but we cannot back out with the excuse of our incapacity.

We have not been on Mount Tabor, we have not seen the face of Jesus shining like the sun with our own eyes. However, the Word of Salvation has also been given to us, faith has been given to us and we have experienced, in different ways, the joy of meeting Jesus. Jesus also says to us: "Stand up and do not be afraid"(Mt 17:7). In this world, marked by selfishness and greed, God's light is obscured by the concerns of everyday life. We often say: I do not have time to pray, I am not able to carry out a service in the parish, to respond to the requests of others... But we must not forget that the Baptism we have received has made us witnesses, not because of our own capacity, but because of the gift of the Spirit.

In this favourable time of Lent, may the Virgin Mary obtain for us that docility of the Spirit, which is indispensable for setting out resolutely on the path of conversion.