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Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Homily – Matthew 17:1 - 9 ©

The Gospel According to Matthew – 2017.03.12

The Transfiguration

Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone. There in their presence he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them; they were talking with him. Then Peter spoke to Jesus. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and from the cloud there came a voice which said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him.’ When they heard this the disciples fell on their faces overcome with fear. But Jesus came up and touched them. ‘Stand up,’ he said ‘do not be afraid.’ And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but only Jesus.

  As they came down from the mountain Jesus gave them this order, ‘Tell no one about the vision until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.’

Constructing Idols in Narrative

As Christians we are bound to read the Gospel in the context of its truthfulness.

Let the Spirit of Truth guide us, even if it means rejecting a passage such as this.

There may have been an event, when Jesus together with James and John went up the mountain by themselves.

It may have been that at such event Jesus connected for his followers the essential message that his ministry was in line with that of Moses, the liberator, the law giver; and Elijah, the truthteller.

The supernatural events described here did not happen.

God, the creator of the universe does not engage in supernatural activities. God is the author of nature and its laws. God does not violate these laws for any reason.

The disciples were also to understand that the ministry of Jesus was also in keeping with that of Enoch, for Enoch is the Son of Man, and he was expected to return.

Jesus warned the disciples that his ministry would lead to his death, but like Enoch, the Son of Man, death would not stop him. He would return.

Always read the gospel in such a way that you strip from it the fantastical elements. Those are not elucidating and they are contrary to the way.

Read through those fantasies only to understand what they tell us about what they people believed who witnessed Jesus’ life, and wrote his story. There is no other wisdom to be had from them.

2nd Sunday of Lent

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