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Angelus Address: On the Feast of the Transfiguration

August 7, 2017. ‘The Event Offers Us a Message of Hope: It Invites Us to Encounter Jesus, to Be at the Service of Brethren’

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square:

* * *

Before the Angelus 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

This Sunday the liturgy celebrates the feast of the Lord’s Transfiguration. Today’s Gospel tells us that the Apostles Peter, James and John were witnesses of this extraordinary event. Jesus took them with Him “and led them up a high mountain by themselves” (Matthew 17:1) and, while He was praying, His face changed in aspect, shining like the sun, and His garments became white as light. Then Moses and Elijah appeared, talking with Him. At this point, Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah” (v. 4). He hadn’t finished speaking when a bright cloud overshadowed them.

The event of the Lord’s Transfiguration offers us a message of hope – we will be like this, with Him –: it invites us to encounter Jesus, to be at the service of brethren.

The disciples’ ascent of Mount Tabor induces us to reflect on the importance of being detached from worldly things, to undertake the way on high and contemplate Jesus. It’s about disposing ourselves to an attentive and prayerful listening of Christ, the Beloved Son of the Father, seeking intimate moments of prayer, which make possible the docile and joyful reception of the Word of God. In this spiritual ascent, in this detachment from worldly things, we are called to rediscover the peaceful and regenerating silence of meditation of the Gospel, of the reading of the Gospel, which leads to a rich goal of beauty, splendor and joy. And when we do this, with the bible in hand, in silence, we begin to feel this inner beauty, this joy that the Word of God generates in us. In this perspective, summertime is a providential moment to grow in our commitment to seek and encounter the Lord. In this period, students are free from school commitments and many families take their vacations; it is important that, during the period of rest and detachment from daily occupations, the strength of body and soul can be restored, deepening the spiritual journey.

At the end of the wonderful experience of the Transfiguration, the disciples came down from the mountain (Cf. v. 9) with transfigured eyes and heart from the encounter with the Lord. It is the way that we can also undertake. The ever more alive rediscovery of Jesus is not an end in itself but induces us to “come down from the mountain,” recharged with the strength of the Divine Spirit, to take new steps of genuine conversion and to witness charity constantly, as law of daily life. Transformed by the presence of Christ and the ardour of His word, we will be a concrete sign of the vivifying love of God for all our brethren, especially those that suffer, all those that find themselves in solitude and abandonment, the sick and the multitude of men and women that, in various parts of the world, are humiliated by injustice, arrogance and violence.

Heard in the Transfiguration is the voice of the Father who says: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!” (v. 5). We look at Mary, Listening Virgin, always ready to receive and keep in her heart every word of her divine Son (Cf. Luke 1:51). May our Mother and Mother of God help us to be attuned to the Word of God, so that Christ becomes the light and guide of our whole life. We entrust to her everyone’s vacation; may it be serene and profitable, but especially the summer of those that can’t have a vacation because of impediments of age, health or work reasons, financial restrictions and other problems, so that it is, in any case, a time of relaxation, gladdened by the presence of friends and happy moments.

[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

After the Angelus

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims from various countries: families, Associations, individual faithful. Present today are several groups of youngsters and young people. I greet you with great affection! In particular, <I greet> the youth pastoral group of Verona and the young people of Adria, Campodarsego and Offanengo.

I wish you all a good Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!

[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]