Saint Luke

October 18, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI writes, “Luke is the only one of the Evangelists who begins his account (of the transfiguration) by indicating the purpose of Jesus’ ascent. He went up the mountain to pray (Luke 9:28). “And as He was praying, the appearance of His face altered, and His clothing became dazzling white” (Luke 9:29). The transfiguration is a prayer event. It displays what happens when Jesus talks with His Father, the profound interpenetration of His Being with God, which then becomes pure Light. In His oneness with His Father, Jesus is Himself “Light from Light”. The reality that He is in the deepest core of His Being, which Peter tried to express in his confession, that reality becomes perceptible to the senses at this moment. Jesus’ Being in the Light of God shows His own divine Being in Light as the Son.” The Holy Father, writing about the appearance of Moses and Elijah with Jesus at the transfiguration event, mentions that what the risen Lord will later explain to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:27) is seen here in visible form. The Law and the Prophets speak with Jesus and speak about Jesus. “Only Luke tells us, at least in a brief allusion, what God’s two great witnesses were talking about with Jesus. They appeared in glory and spoke of His exodus (departure) which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:31). Their topic of conversation was the cross, but understood in an inclusive sense as Jesus’ exodus, which had to take place in Jerusalem. Jesus’ cross is an exodus, a departure from this life, a passage through the Red Sea of the passion, and a transition into glory, glory, however, that forever bears the marks of Jesus wounds” (John 20:27). The climax, so to speak, of the event of the miraculous transfiguration of the Lord was the enveloping cloud (Mark 9:11) from which God’s voice was heard instructing the Apostles to “listen to Him”, which follows “the solemn proclamation by the Father of Christ’s divine Sonship.” As the Pope observes, “This one command brings the theophany to its conclusion and sums up its deepest meaning. The disciples must accompany Jesus back down the mountain and learn ever anew to listen to Him.” Today we ask Saint Luke to help us live this lesson in our daily lives.

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