In his book ‘SONG OF THE BIRDS’ Fr. Anthony de Mello, SJ writes about a wise man who once reflected about himself: “I was a revolutionary when I was young and all my prayer to God was ‘Lord, give me energy to change the WORLD.’ “As I approached middle age and realized that half my life was gone without changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to: “Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come in contact with me. Just my FAMILY and FRIENDS, and I shall be satisfied. Now that I am an old man and my days are numbered, I have begun to see how foolish I have been. My one prayer now is: “Lord, give me the grace to change MYSELF. ’If I had prayed for this right from the start I should not have wasted my life.” This 18th Sunday Gospel on the TRANSFIGURATION which occurs only once every six years or so, talks about CHANGE which the wise man in the story prayed for. It depicts Christ’s glorious transformation: “His face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light” (Mt: 17, 2). Christ’s transfiguration is telling us that we too need to be transfigured. As the old adage puts it; “Your Character Is Your Fate.”
We need to change constantly, to grow for the better. And the growth towards Christian maturity is not a once-and-for-all experience and then ‘living happily ever after.’ Rather it is a matter of continuing transfiguration, of continuing new acts of faith as circumstances change, of continuing challenges to choose between obedience and rebellion. In this modern time, the call is clearly one of conversion or “metanoia.” Metanoia is a Greek word which means “to change one’s mind and heart.” It implies a coming to one’s senses with a corresponding change in one’s conduct and feeling. For us to grow and prosper – as individuals and as a nation – whether mentally or spiritually, we need to shed off our negative attitudes and values, our laziness, our dishonesty, our squabbling, and complacency. For “your character is your fate.”
Martin Luther King Jr., the great African-American Apostle of Freedom, speaking on the eve of his assassination, revealed that he had what I call here a transfiguration experience: “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop, and I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life... I just want to do God’s will. And he allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land and I may not get there with you... And I am happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
#3 A joke from St. Joe: News from the Vatican! Catholic Priests are now allowed to get married, but under two strict conditions. 1) They must be seventy five years old and over. 2) They must get full consent from their parents and her mother in-law to be. Is that possible!!!
In this week, I have selected only three important feast days to celebrate; on the 8th we have the memorial of St. Dominic de Guzman, Priest and Founder of the Dominican Order known as Order of Preachers; on the 10th the feast of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr known also Patron Saint of Rome after St. Peter. On the 11th, the memorial of St. Clare of Assisi, Virgin and foundress of the Poor Clare’s Sisters. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin.
Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,