A WORD FROM THE PASTOR
What A Surprise!
There is a story about an inattentive, workaholic husband who suddenly decided to surprise his wife with a night to remember. He went down to the department store and bought her the expensive dress she had been admiring. He bought her a large bottle of perfume to go with it. He ordered tickets to the Broadway play she had been wanting to see and made reservations at their favorite restaurant. On his way home he stopped by the florist and bought two dozen red roses.
Upon arriving home, he hugged his wife affectionately and told her what he had done: "I just want you to know that I love you; I appreciate you; I adore you." Instead of melting in the man's arms his wife started screaming at the top of her voice. "This has been the worst day of my life," she said. "It was awful at the office. We lost our biggest account; co-workers were obnoxious; clients were unreasonable. I came home to find the kids had broken my favorite lamp; the baby sitter is quitting; and my husband usually comes home drunk. Now surprise of surprises! Today is different."
At the Transfiguration of our Lord, the disciples were taken by a splendid preview of Jesus' radiance in divine glory, transfigured, a dazzling preview of his divinity. No doubt they were taken up by surprise, though only momentarily. The woman in the story would be happy if her husband is "transformed" permanently. Peter had witnessed Jesus as a wanderer - preaching hard stuff and healing ones who had faith in God, and in him, insisting on certain moral characteristics of life. Now he witnesses a different picture! What a surprise!
One can sympathize with Peter who wanted to build three booths and stay on the mountaintop of the Transfiguration in the presence of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Unfortunately, he was not given that option, and neither are we. We must live in this world of loud and unsettling noise. There is no retreat!
In our church, too, I witness such "surprise" when more people are in the church on some occasions. I always wish for that kind of crowd with the pews filled in the church. I said at one Mass, "Put some smile on my face." Unfortunately that does not happen enough! I am also haunted with some questions like - "Have we settled down to stay a small community by carrying out normal duties? Is there any way to improve? "
A surprise should not remain momentarily! It should become and remain permanent. Then, a real transfiguration will be experienced by all parishioners of St Bernadette! This is my wish for you all.