not want ‘disfigured’ faces
Year A - Sunday
2 Timothy 1:8b-10
“Seek his face.
do seek your face, O Lord. Do
not hide your
from me” (Ps 27:8-9).
Transfiguration of Jesus is a new step in
the journey to discover the identity of Jesus and
in the episode
the Temptations. On the second Sunday of Lent
the Transfiguration of Jesus on
event occurs “six
days later “(v.
1), that is, after the encounter at
profession of faith of Peter, the
the first announcement of the passion:
Each of these
the composition of the
as we pray in the entrance
“Seek his face.
do seek your face, O Lord. Do not hide your face
One response to
high mountain” (v. 1), where Jesus was transfigured
like the sun
as white as the light” (v. 2). The light does not come from
comes from within
the person of
Jesus. In fact, Luke, in a parallel text,
points out that “Jesus went up the mountain to
pray, and while He was praying, his face was
changed” (Lk 9:28-29). It is from
the relationship with the
Father that Jesus is interiorly transformed: his total identification
Father shines in his face (see Jn 4:34; 14:11).
does not seek for
manifestation of the Holy Trinity
on the mountain, through three signs:
the voice, the light and
the cloud. The voice of the
proclaims Jesus as
Listen to him”
body of the
the cloud is the symbol of
of the Spirit.
is the anticipation of
Prayer, revelation and
Trinity, passion and glorification…: now the
are able to
And here an invitation
to each one of us: that
we may find a time -possibly quite
long- to contemplate the attractive face
of Jesus, until we may say, as Peter did: “Lord,
it is wonderful for us to be here”
Transfiguration occurred “while Jesus was praying: his face was changed” (Lk
9:28-29). True prayer is
escapism. For Jesus,
was a moment
it is the
experience of the
expression when it flows into the service
that Pope Benedict XVI
profound Lenten catechesis. (*)
proclamation of the Gospel of
disfigured by so many forms of
the Puebla document
Father of Life!
On this vocation to life
to grace rests the dignity of every
the presence of the Church and the
missionaries of the Gospel
is imperative and
of Jesus in his ‘transfiguration’ does not want some
brothers and sisters to
have ‘disfigured faces’.
That is why missionary work comes close to people who suffer, touching
and healing the wounds -both in body and
soul- of those who are in pain, as Pope
Francis teaches us constantly.
By a happy
coincidence, on March 15th we remember the ‘birthday’ of Saint
Daniel Comboni (1831-1881), an Italian missionary bishop in
Africa. He is the founder of the “Comboni
Missionaries”, a modest missionary Institute, to which Fr. Rocco
belong. Please, allow me to spend a few words on this missionary saint who struggled against slavery
and any other form of disfiguration of human dignity. “Africa
or death!”- “Save
Africa by Africans!” were his mottos. He spent his life making “common cause” for the sake of the African
contemplating the transfigured face of
Christ and His pierced Heart, Daniel Comboni
found the strength to take care of African people disfigured by
slavery, oppression…, curing their wounds, assuring them dignity,
the work of generous evangelizers -men
and women, local and foreign- many
African people have been transformed by Baptism into people of God; and
them have become shining faces of Jesus, who are growing among African
Christians: lay people, nuns, priests, catechists, bishops, martyrs,
saints… Brothers and sisters, let us be a part of missionary work. Because
the transfigured Face of Christ does not want disfigured human faces.
is a guarantee of openness to others: whoever frees himself for God and
needs simultaneously opens himself to the other, to the brother or
knocks at the door of his heart and asks to be heard, asks for
forgiveness, at times correction, but always in fraternal charity. True prayer is never self-centred, it is
always centred on the other. As such, it opens the person praying
to the ecstasy of charity, to the capacity to
go out of oneself to draw close to the other in humble, neighbourly
service. True prayer is the driving force of the
world since it keeps it open to God. For this reason without prayer
is no hope but only illusion. In fact, it is not God’s presence that
man but his absence… Speaking with God, dwelling in his presence,
oneself be illuminated and purified by his Word introduces us, instead,
the heart of reality, into the very motor of becoming cosmic; it
so to speak, to the beating heart of the universe.”
Homily of Ash Wednesday, 06.02.2008
- 15/3: The
of St. Daniel Comboni (1831-1881): he was born in Limone on Lake Garda
of Brescia) and died in Khartoum (Sudan) as the first Vicar Apostolic
of Central Africa.
the steps of
- 17/3: St. Patrick
(385-461), born in England, he was the great missionary and evangeliser
Ireland. He was the Bishop of Armagh and is patron of Ireland.
- 18/3: St. Cyril
(+386), Bishop of Jerusalem and famous for his catecheses; he suffered
persecution from the Arians.
- 19/3: St. Joseph,
the “just man” (Mt 1:19), husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster
of Jesus. He is Patron of the Universal Church.
- 20/3: Bl. Francis
Palau y Quer (1811-1872), member of the Discalced Carmelites; he
frequent persecution, was a Founder and preached missions to the people.
Day (UN) for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
- 22/3: World
instituted by UN in 1993.