03/04/2012, 00.00
VATICAN

The inner light we need to overcome the trials of life comes from God, says pope

During the Angelus, in commenting the Transfiguration of Jesus, Benedict XVI stressed how to achieve resurrection we must go through passion and death. During a visit to a Roman parish, he urges the faithful to become "missionaries of Christ to your brothers wherever they live, work, study or spend their leisure time!"

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In the mystery of the Transfiguration, Jesus "reveals his divine glory, [which is] the splendour of Truth and Love. He wants this light to illuminate the hearts of the apostles "when they cross the pitch darkness of his passion and death, when the scandal of the cross will be for them unbearable. God is light and Jesus wants to give his closest friends the experience of this light, which lies in him". All of us "need an inner light to overcome the trials of life. This light comes from God, and it is Christ who gives it to us."

Benedict XVI discussed the "light" of the Transfiguration, discussed in today's Gospel, before a crowd of 20,000 people who came to St Peter's Square for the Angelus.

"This Sunday, the second of Lent, is the Sunday of the Transfiguration of Christ," the Pontiff said. "In fact, in the Lent itinerary, the liturgy, after inviting us to follow Jesus in the desert and face and win with temptations, suggests we go up the 'mountain' of prayer with Him to contemplate on his human face the glorious light of God."

"The episode of the transfiguration of Christ is mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. It has two essential elements. First, Jesus goes to the top of a high mountain with the disciples Peter, James and John, where he 'was transfigured before them' (Mk, 9:2). His face and clothes irradiate a dazzling life, whilst Moses and Elijah appear by his side. Second, a cloud enveloped the mountaintop and, from it, came a voice that said, 'This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!' (Mk, 9:7). Thus [came] light and voice, the divine light that shines on Jesus' face, and the voice of the Celestial Father that bears witness for Him and gives the command to listen to him."

"The mystery of the Transfiguration cannot be separated from the context of the path that Jesus is following. He is clearly on his way to completing his mission, knowing that to achieve resurrection, he will have to go through the passion and the death on the cross. He openly spoke about it to the disciples who did not understand however; in fact, they rejected this prospect because they were not thinking as God does, but as human beings do (see Mt, 16:23). For this reason, Jesus took three of them up the mountain and revealed his divine glory."

"All of us need an inner light to overcome the trails of life. This light comes from God, and it is Christ who gives it to us, He in whom lives the fullness of the divinity. Let us go up the mountain of prayer with Jesus; contemplating his face full of love and truth, let us be filled within by his light. Let us ask the Virgin Mary, our guide on the path of faith, to help us live this experience during Lent, finding a moment each day to say a silent prayer and listen to the Word of God."

This morning, before meeting the faithful for the recitation of the Marian prayer in St Peter's Square, the pope conducted a pastoral visit to the Roman parish of San Giovanni Battista de La Salle in Torrino, in the southern part of the Diocese of Rome.

Warmly welcomed by the members of the parish, Benedict XVI during the celebration of the Mass got an idea from the church's location. "Coming among you today, I noticed the particular position of this church, placed on the highest point of your neighbourhood, its slender bell tower, almost a finger or arrow towards the sky," he said.

"To me, this is an important cue. Like the three apostles in the Gospel, we too must go up the mountain of transfiguration and receive God's light, so that his Face may illuminate ours. It's in personal and communal prayer that we find the Lord, not as an idea, but as a moral proposal, like a person that wants to establish a relationship with you, who wants to be a friend and renew your life to make it like his."

"This meeting is not something personal. Placed on the highest spot in the neighbourhood, your church reminds you that the Gospel must be communicated and announced to everyone. Wait not for others to bring you different messages that do not lead to the real life; instead, become yourselves missionaries of Christ to your brothers wherever they live, work, study or spend their leisure time!"

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