Every so often, the feast of the Transfiguration falls on a Sunday, and it takes precedence over the Sundays of Ordinary Time. This episode near the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry reminds us that hidden beneath the humanity of Jesus is the truth of His Person as the eternal Son of God. The date of this observance, August 6, was chosen in the 15th century because it is 40 days before September 14, the Triumph of the Cross.
The Transfiguration did not add something to the glory of Jesus; it simply revealed for a moment who He really is. It unveiled the divine splendor that He had willingly set aside so that we could approach and relate to God in a human way. St. Paul attests to this humility of the Son of God in Philippians 2:6-11:
Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also
yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the
form of God, did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
The Transfiguration helps us to reflect on how we might judge by appearances and ask for the grace to see past human imperfections – our own and those of others – to find the presence of God. And, it helps us understand humility as we ponder the self-emptying of Jesus for us. His sacrifice becomes the pattern of our lives as we strive to “have the same attitude that is in Christ Jesus.”
Whether it is in the Bethlehem manger, in the Nazareth home, in the Jordan River, on the Jerusalem Cross, it is the same God made flesh. This Presence of the divine Son hidden beneath other appearances continues in the Eucharist – the same Jesus is given to us, that we might share in risen glory.
Welcome to Sheri Rutar!
By month’s end, of course, our younger parishioners and those who teach and form them will be back in school. We are happy to welcome a new principal for St. Katherine Drexel School, Sheri Rutar. Sheri comes to SKD from a career of 33 years with District 742, including serving in administration at Discovery and North, and as principal of Clearview Elementary until her (presumed!) retirement in 2020.
Thanks to all our Catholic school families, educators, staff, and especially our students. As we prepare for a new year in our schools, faith formation programs, and all our parish life that goes with the academic schedule, we remember gratefully that you are the reason for all our investment in the future you represent. Pray for us, and we will be praying for you.