One Minute Reflection – 23 February – Saturday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – The Memorial of St Polycarp (c 69–c 155) Martyr and Father of the Church
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain, apart by themselves and he was transfigured before them and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses and they were talking to Jesus…Mark 9:2-4
The witness of the Prophets leads to the witness of the Apostles
REFLECTION – “It was the will of the Lord Jesus that Moses alone (though he was accompanied, it is true, by Joshua (Ex 24:13)) should climb the mountain to receive the law. In the gospel too, out of His many disciples He limited the revelation of His risen glory to three – Peter, James and John. Wishing to put no stumbling block in the way of His weaker followers, whose vacillating minds might prevent them from taking in the full meaning of the paschal mystery, He chose to keep His redemptive plan a secret and repeatedly warned Peter, James and John not to talk freely about what they had seen. Peter, in fact, did not know what to say. He thought of setting up three shelters for the Lord and His attendants. Then he found himself unable to bear the brilliance of the glory radiating from His transfigured Lord. Together with those “sons of thunder” (Mk 3:17), James and John, he fell to the ground (Mt 17:6)…
They entered the cloud in order to receive knowledge of hidden, secret matters and there they heard the voice of God saying: “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.” What does “This is my beloved Son” mean? The implication is as follows: Make no mistake, Simon. Do not imagine God’s Son can be put into the same category as the servants who attend him. This man is my Son – neither Moses nor Elijah can be given that title, even though the one opened the sea and the other closed the heavens. Both of them exercised dominion over the elements but it was by the power of the Lord’s word that they did so (Ex 14; 1 Kgs 17:1). They were only servants, it was the Lord who made the waters into a solid wall, the Lord who caused the drought that closed the heavens and the Lord who, in his own time, opened them to release the rain.
For evidence of the resurrection to be accepted, the combined witness of those servants is required. But when the glory of their risen Lord is revealed, the servant’ aureole is lost in shadow. Sunrise obscures the stars, the light of the heavenly bodies grows pale before the brilliance of the sun shining on this material world. How then could human stars attract notice in the presence of the eternal Sun of Justice? (Mal 3:20).”…St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor
PRAYER – Lord of all creation, let us praise You with voice and mind and deed. Let us too give glory to Your Holy Son and bask in the Sun of Justice! Grant us a place in the reflection of His Light to shine on those around us. As You gave St Polycarp, a place in the company of the Martyrs, grant us our eternal joy with him and all Your angels and saints. May his intercession, give us the strength to drink from that cup which Christ drank and so rise to eternal life. Through Christ our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.