..the feast of the Transfiguration ..a brief showing to his favourite followers of who he really was..a moment of encouragement for them, & of affirmation for himself, as he too struggled with the implications of his ministry of loving service.. & how are you at this moment in your ministry of loving service? ..what is a struggle?..what effect has the struggle had on you in recent days & months? ..come..come clean..come clean now..face the struggle & the truth..
“..it was not any cleverly invented myths that we were repeating..” ; Lord have mercy “..we had seen his majesty for ourselves..” ; Christ have mercy “..so we have confirmation of what was said..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..at end of this month I lead a pilgrimage to Iona..sacred island off west coast of Scotland from where St Columba & his monks evangelised Scotland & NE England with Celtic monasticism..simple straightforward frugal..a life of prayer in Community..it takes 2days to get there, then 4days on the island. We hope & pray for just one day without mist rain & midges, for the clear blue sea & sky, the white sandy beaches & pink mountains, with what we call the Iona colours..an unbelieveable indescribable spectacle..if it lasts even an hour it is worth all travelling & soakings..a transfiguration moment..when for Jesus & for Peter James & John it was an Iona moment..he took his 3 favourite trusties, his inner cabinet, to the traditional meeting place with God..a remote high mountain a place & moment for a transfiguration, where his deepest real self was experienced & shared..so far he’d had months of struggle in learning his earthly ministry as his humanity grew through success mistake & failure, growing up & out of straightjacket of the Law, personified by presence of Moses, & the risk & spontaneity of prophecy, personified by Elijah..& now an insight into definitive stage of growth in relationship with his Father..a showing & a sharing of his divine birthright & lineage with his fellow disciples..& Moses & Elijah “were talking with him” I wonder what they talked about across generations that separated them?..I wonder what you talk about with Jesus?..& with your favourite grandfather or grandmother now in heaven?..& is the talk the chat daily or yearly?..Fergal Keane BBC news correspondent whose gentle ministry of service is to report from war & disaster zones weeks after the aftermath to show real human & divine devastation..in book “Letter to my Father” he writes of his broken relationship with his father, who died distanced from Fergal then 12yrs of age & his family, an alcoholic a failed actor & a wreck..whose regret at not sending him a last Christmas card to a squalid rented room in Co Kerry, eats away at him & still..& he wrote..“now I would send you a thousand but I have no address”..last month listening to Desert Island Discs on R4, Kirsty Young interviewing Sue Perkins BBC tv presenter & part of Bake Off team..Sue told of stay in remote forest area of NE Asia filming among a forgotten tribe..soon after they arrived, the translators all walked out, leaving her & tv crew for 3days with no way of communicating with the natives except gradually through signs & smiles..at one stage Sue found herself [ “found herself” ] walking through dense forest hand in hand with a woman of tribe..& Sue said out loud to herself looking at the woman so close yet so distant “I think I’ve known you all my life!” ..woman voiced something back in her native tongue..weeks later back in London, as programme being edited, producer asked her to look at it with him..by then they had been able to translate what the woman’s response had been all those weeks before..she had said to Sue..“I think I’ve known you all my life!” I hope in this holiday season you will stumble on a transfiguration moment, an Iona, a Desert Island Discs moment, when you encounter experience a sighting & a hearing of the divine presence, in place & in person, reminding you of that special unique individual relationship you have with your God..& you too hear his voice “this..you..are my beloved son & daughter..listen to them.” & heed caution in gospel & “tell no one of the vision..” for the time being..let them, once you come down off your mountain, your spiritual Cloud 9, let them translate your change in appearance attitude & language, & in conscience [ in divine awareness ] let them come to their own conclusion..a fellow disciple a beloved son or daughter of God..”I think I’ve known you all my life” leave you with words of Becky Laird at a transfiguration moment in her life, written on her memorial prayer card, & spoken by her to us at this Mass..listen..”I am a daughter of God..all is well.” [Transfiguration Yr A Mt 17; 1-9]