23 Apr 1989
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
In the Gospel that relates to us the story of the Transfiguration of Christ we are told that Christ appears to His disciples in His divine Glory. This glory filling his human soul and shining in and through His body and transfiguring even the clothes He was wearing and falling into a glorious light on everything around Him. And we are also told that this revelation of Christ in glory occurred while He was speaking to Moses and Elijah about His end, His crucifixion, His death, His descent into hell. What was revealed then was that the glory of God, the shining of this divine glory is made manifest in a love that stops before nothing for the salvation and the good of the [loved] one. It is when He spoke with Moses and Ilia about His crucifixion and death that He appeared to them in the fullness of the glory of love. What was revealed then is being enacted now. We are entering into that week when all that have been in the divine wisdom prophetically revealed, visibly perceived, heard of by the Apostles, becomes stern, tragic reality. But at the threshold of this Holy Week so tragic, there is an event which is a promise — the raising of Lazarus. In the crucified love of Christ we see Love divine. In the raising of Lazarus we see divine love already victorious. And it is not only a promise given to us, it is also a succour, a help granted to us to face what is to come — the vision of the One whom we should love with all the reverence of our heart, with all the intensity of our heart, in response to whose love we should give ourselves unreservedly — in the face of all this we are promised victory.
The entry of Christ into Jerusalem is already the beginning of Passion Week. On the one hand, there still resound the songs of praise in response to the raising of Lazarus, to the vision of victory, to the hope of the resurrection, to the certainty of salvation, indeed, to the certainty of the love of God that never abandons anyone, at the same time the cries of the crowd resound in the same way in which they will cry a few days later “crucify Him, crucify Him”, because there is a tragic misunderstanding, there is a tragic confusion of that day. Because He has shown His power, the God Who came to give His life to us, to deliver himself into the evil will of man, He is received with the hope that He comes as a conqueror. The whole crowd would have stood by Satan in the wilderness when Satan said, “Make of this stones bread for us, cast Thyself down from the pinnacle that we may be sure of Who You are and no longer be afraid in the twilight and darkness of life, submit to the prince of this world. And he will give You all power, he will give You victory. And we will be free, and we will be glorious, and we will be lords, and we will avenge ourselves of all the humiliations of this world. And if it is Your strength that prevents You from this, then could You hear Peter saying, “Do not you allow all this to happen to You, accept defeat and gain this victory which Satan gave (?).” This crowd wanted Him to be an earthy conqueror and Christ came as the Savior of the world to die that others may live.
Let us enter into this week with greater wisdom, greater understanding than these crowds showed. Let us enter this week in the glorious light of the Mount of the Transfiguration, seeing that it is the love of God which is the light. Let us enter into this week of tragedy looking at the Cross, the Crucifixion, the suffering, the tragedy itself, looking at it as a revelation of love divine. Let us at the same time brokenheartedly stand before God because all that happens to Christ is on our account. And at the same time let us contemplate the light of love divine. It is not the time of twilight. That is a time when simultaneously the fullness of light shines. And this light is revealed by Love crucified. Let us enter earnestly into this week. Whether we are in church or outside of it let us remember where we are, what is happening. If we are deprived of being in church let us be before the throne of God and adore our Lord crucified and risen, victorious, but victorious over sin, over evil, over Satan, and let us pray and ask Him to be our Savior, each of us, each of us.
The blessing of the Lord be upon you by His grace and love towards mankind, always, now and forever and world without end. Amen.