OF THE GOSPEL
This story of the «Transfiguration of Jesus» was right from the start very popular among his followers. It’s not just one more story. The scene, recreated with diverse aspects of symbolic character, is huge. The evangelists present Jesus with a glowing face while talking with Moses and Elijah.
The three disciples who have accompanied him to the top of the mountain are frightened. They don’t know what to think of it all. The mystery that envelops Jesus is way too great. Mark says they were scared.
The scene ends strangely: «A cloud came, covering them in shadow; and from the cloud there came a voice: This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him». The Jesus movement was born listening to his call. His Word, recounted later is four small writings, gave birth to new followers. The Church exists listening to his Gospel.
Jesus’ message faces a lot of obstacles today to reach the men and women of our time. Upon abandoning religious practice, many have stopped listening to his message once and for all. They no longer hear Jesus speak, except in casual or distracted ways.
Nor can those who come to our Christian communities easily appreciate Jesus’ Word. His message has gotten lost among other practices, customs, and doctrines. It’s hard to catch its decisive importance. The liberating power of his Gospel is sometimes blocked by jargon and commentaries that are far from his spirit.
However, even today the one uniquely decisive thing that the Church can offer modern society is the Good News that Jesus proclaimed, and his humanizing project of God’s reign. We can’t keep holding back the humanizing power of his Word.
We need to let it run clean, alive and abundant through our communities. Let it reach our homes, let those recognize it who seek a new meaning for their lives, let people listen to it who live without hope.
We need to learn to read the Gospel together. We need to familiarize ourselves with the Gospel stories. We need to put ourselves in direct and immediate contact with Jesus’ Good News. It’s in this that we need to spend our energies. From here will begin the renovation that the Church needs today.
When the Church institution loses the power of attraction that it’s had throughout the centuries, we need to discover the attraction that Jesus has, the beloved Son of God, for those who seek truth and life. Pretty soon we’ll find out that everything is pushing us to put his Good News more confidently in the center of Christianity.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf