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Finding Strength in Times of Weakness

August 5, 2020  Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Lectionary: 614)

Reading 1  DN 7:9-10, 13-14

As I watched:

Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was bright as snow,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
his throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.
The court was convened and the books were opened.

As the visions during the night continued, I saw:

One like a Son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
The one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;
all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

 

Responsorial Psalm   PS 97:1-2, 5-6, 9

R. (1a and 9a) The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
Because you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth,
exalted far above all gods. 
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth. 
Reading II   2 PT 1:16-19
Beloved:
We did not follow cleverly devised myths
when we made known to you
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received honor and glory from God the Father
when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory,
“This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven
while we were with him on the holy mountain.
Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.
You will do well to be attentive to it,
as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 

 

Alleluia    MT 17:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel   MT 17:1-9

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

By Sierra Rosamilia 

“Do not be afraid” I hear that a lot, from friends, family, but especially from God. In fact, these words or similar phrases that mean “fear not” are mentioned 365 different times in the Bible.

Because there are also 365 days in a year, it is almost like God is telling us every single day to not fear Him. 

In today’s Gospel from Matthew 17, Jesus takes three of His disciples up to the top of a mountain. Here, the Transfiguration took place, but during this, a voice speaks from the clouds and says “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him”. The disciples were frightened but Jesus told them to not be afraid. My favorite part of the story comes right after this, “And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone”. After listening to God and trusting Jesus who said it was all okay, they opened their eyes and could only see Jesus Christ. 

I know there have been many times that I have heard God or seen Him working through something in my own life and I will retreat and go back on my promise to the Father. I say that I trust Him and His works, but when I start to see the path going somewhere “dark and scary” I run the other way.

I’ll tell God no, even though I know that’s not the right answer, but I say it anyway. 

When reading the Gospel, I pictured myself as one of the disciples. I thought of it, but in my own life, when I’m stuck in those moments of distrust, fear and/or unbelief. I think back to the time when I first started my spiritual journey. I didn’t quite know or understand anything I was feeling or going through. During that time, so many things, people, and opportunities came rapidly, so fast that I couldn't keep up.

This time was so overwhelming and almost made me want to retreat, I started to fear God, not trust Him.

I had so much going on and I didn’t know how to deal with it. Now I picture myself when I was in that situation, closing my eyes and Jesus coming to me with His hand on my shoulder, saying “Rise, and do not be afraid”. When I trust God, all I will see is Him, like how the disciples could only see Jesus. When I dedicate my life to the Father, He will be my center focus. Looking back, I wish I had related this, and many other similar scriptures, to my own life.

God, give me the strength in those times of weakness. Allow me to remember that I have no reason to be afraid for I know that even when I have to walk through the “dark and scary” parts of the path you created for me, remind me that You are walking with me, guiding me, and holding me close to you. Lord, be my shield. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sierra Rosamilia is an upcoming senior in high school. She started to discover what it truly meant to be “alive in the faith” almost 2 years ago. When she’s not planning youth group events or participating in a project in the community, you’ll find her cozied up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and her cat, Chloe, watching a Netflix show that she’ll most likely not have the patience to finish. She enjoys discovering new things, places, music... anything really, and she’s always seeking a new adventure!

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