Weekly Reflections

Reflection for March 1, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Transfiguration: Taking up one's cross is part of the journey to glory

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by Sister Annette Koss

At my parish, we sometimes discuss where we should have a cross placed in church:
on a wall, in a stand, among the people.
One Lent, each week the cross was moved to a different place among the assembly.
Recently, I was asked to be a communion minister at Mass.
Then, I was asked, "Do you need a cross?"
I said, "I have a cross" -- meaning the one I was wearing.
Then, I said, "I am a cross."
I moved from the concrete cross to its inner symbolism.

With the experience of the transfiguration,
Mark clearly connects the transfiguration with the cross,
placing the transfiguration between passion predictions.
He was expanding the disciples' understanding of Jesus as a suffering servant,
to be obedient in the midst of not fully understanding,
to give hope in the resurrection in times of persecution.
The disciples stood in a cloud as they experienced mystery.
Jesus would be the new Moses and the new Elijah with a new message.
Peter preferred to build three tents and prolong the experience.

The transfiguration was a call to discipleship:
"Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me."
The transfiguration confirmed the teaching on the cross.
It was an invitation to risk one's life.
The disciples were called to understand the choices before them:
to deny Jesus was to live but ultimately lose life,
to follow Jesus was to risk death but gain life.

Reflection questions:
  1. What has been a "mountaintop" experience for me?
  2. Did I want to stay there and prolong the experience?
  3. Did it lead me to service and maybe some suffering?



Reflection for March 4, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Koss-Annette_Sister100pxby Sister Annette Koss

This weekend we gaze at Peter, James and John climbing up on the mountain.
The disciples encounter Jesus and engage in a conversation.
It is a place of intimacy, so much so that they want to stay on that mountain.
But they leave the comfort of presence and love as befuddled beholders
to continue living their daily lives.
Was this presence real?  What does it mean?  
Intimacy goes beyond reasoning; it does not lead to more gazing,
but to being sent to share love and presence.
Life is beyond the reasonable, yet available and personal.

A 96-year-old man, named Harry, died in our parish sitting up in his chair.
The "mountain" for Harry was holding his wife's hand every night between his hands
as they were falling asleep.
During the funeral preparation, his son told of this experience of loving presence
with my hand between the two of his.
For the funeral liturgy, the family walked up the hill of the Darboy church.
I invited the family to hold hands during the Our Father.  
A daughter and mother reached into the coffin and held the hand of Harry.

We heard the words, "My yoke is easy and my burden light."
It might not feel that way in grief, but the yoke is easier and the burden lighter,
when we can hold hands in love and support.
Now the family continues the hand holding of loving presence as they descend from the
experience of the resurrection liturgy.

Transfigure us, O Lord, transfigure us, O Lord.
Break the chains that bind us;
speak your healing word;
where you lead we'll follow.

-- Song Refrain by Bob Hurd