|The Transfiguration by Raphael|
Once again, we celebrate a week filled with the blessings of the Lord as well as the challenges of this life that He enables us to overcome through His grace and love.
Here are the Propers for this week: the Eleventh Week after Trinity (yes, we're nearly halfway through Ordinary Time!) from the Book of Common Prayer 2011 as well as a new Quotation of the Week:
ELEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
ETERNAL God, you make known the greatness of your power by showing mercy and pity; Grant us such abundant grace, that, running in the path of your commandments, we may obtain your promises and be made partakers of your heavenly treasure; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and rules with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and always. Amen. (References: Wisdom 12.16; John 17.1-2; Matthew 6.20)
1 Corinthians 15.1-11; Luke 18.9-14; Psalm 111; Psalm 51.15-17; Joel 2.23-32
For once, I haven't already read the Scripture for this week. At our Friday Morning Prayer and Holy Communion with Healing Prayers, Father Acker usually reads one week ahead, giving a short meditation or "think piece" on the Epistle or the Gospel readings for the coming Sunday as preparation for his Sunday sermon.
But this week, we celebrated The Feast of the Transfiguration of August 6, so we prayed the Collect and read the Epistle and the Gospel passages for the feast instead: 1 John 3.1-3 and Mark 9.2-7. The Transfiguration, which is described in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), tells of Jesus taking three of the apostles with him to see Jesus glorified as the Christ, the Son of God. It's an amazing scene described in these passages: Jesus glorified on earth as He prepares to save the world through his death and resurrection. Wow.
I love Raphael's painting of the Transfiguration which includes not only the Transfiguration on the mountain but also the chaos occurring at the base of the mountain as the remaining apostles attempt to rebuke a demon from a young boy and are unable to. As Mark 9 continues from the Gospel reading for the Feast of Transfiguration, we see Jesus seem to lose His cool--a rare happening, indeed--when He hears from the boy's father that His disciples "were not able" to cast out the demon:
"And he answered them, 'O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.'"
After watching the boy convulse, Jesus questions the father and tells him, "'All things are possible for one who believes'" (Mark 9.23). And the father responds with words that have been prayed in desperation by humankind for the last two thousand years: "'I believe; help my unbelief!'" Then Christ rebukes the unclean spirit and cast it out of the boy, telling it to never return to the child.
Immediately after leaving the area, Jesus then teaches his disciples of all that He must suffer: of Jesus' coming death and his resurrection on the third day...although they did not understand Him and were too afraid to ask Him for clarification.
So Jesus goes from being Transfigured into God's glory, to having to clean up a mess His disciples could not fix, and then to telling them of how He would suffer, die, and rise again--when He will again be Transfigured from glory into glory.
The Quotation of the Week comes from the daily Minute Meditation from AmericanCatholic.org:
"In the deepest mystery of his being, God is an intimate relationship, a fellowship, a community of love."
Isn't that a wonderful thought! God is "a community of love." Where love is, there God is, too, whether we recognize His presence with us or not. It is in His love that God speaks in and through and to us. Thanks be to God!!
Wishing you all a blessed week!
Soli Deo Gloria,