Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Transfigurations

The plural is not a typo.

There is the transfiguration of glory that we celebrate this day



when the reality of the Lord Jesus was shown, was permitted to be seen, to Peter, James, and John on the mountain. Peter went so far to ask if they should set up tents so they could stay on the mountain always, but Jesus said no, they had to go back down the mountain, back to "real life." Yet what was seen on the mountain was a thousand times more real than the "real life" waiting for them down below. The day will come when we will all witness this reality in the beatific vision, when we each are Called to that great Day.

And then, there is the transfiguration of horror that we also remember this day.



There were two cities, chosen because they had no military significance and therefore no previous bombing damage to complicate the before-and-after photos, obliterated in a single instant on a single day, the first on this day, the second a few days later. Children of our same father changed in an instant from living breathing people to etched shadows on the pavements, or surviving to die by inches of illnesses never before seen. The above image is of the Cathedral of Hiroshima, which was at ground zero; the two cities were not chosen because they were the center of Catholicism in their country, that was accidental. Let us remember most especially the congregation in this Cathedral on that day, translated in an instant from the celebration of the Transfiguration at the Holy Eucharist to the awesome sight of the Lord in the life to come, which came for them that day.
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