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This Week's Liturgy

August 6th, 2012 (see other dates)

The Transfiguration of the Lord

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

A covenant is an agreement that has two sides. God's side of the covenant is faithfulness and love. What is our side? Do you remember Jesus' giving us a new commandment? ("Love one another.") How are you doing at keeping the new commandment? How are you bearing fruit?

Reading 1 Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

Reading 1 Reflection

This first reading assures us of God's faithfulness and love. It affirms that God is keeping his covenant with us. In the Transfiguration of Jesus, when his whole being shows forth his divinity and he manifests himself as the Son of God, he is accompanied by two witnesses to the covenant God made with the people of Israel: Moses and Elijah. They put their "seal of approval" on the new covenant that Jesus brings us in his very person. The reward of this new covenant is like the old: fruitfulness. Like the earth in summer, full of good fruits and vegetables for us to eat and share, we too will bear fruit in the new covenant that Jesus makes with us. In Jesus, the Son of God given to us, we are truly blessed above all peoples!

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

Name some dark places experienced by people in your neighborhood, parish, town or city. Name some in our world today. How can you bring the hope and power of the light of Christ into these dark places? You might know someone is going through a "dark place" in life. How can you help bring the light of Christ to this person? You might like to make a group litany of prayer for these places and people. Carry it with you this week and pray it often, especially at the Eucharist.

Reading 2 Peter 1:16-19

Reading 2 Reflection

Here Peter is a witness to the majesty of Jesus revealed as the Son of God. This majesty is no myth, says Peter, but power and honor and glory. Peter compares this event to "a lamp shining in a dark place." We all have dark places in our lives. Peter did too—remember that he denied Jesus three times! But we must go through these dark places with our eyes on the lamp, the light of Christ. Peter tells us to watch and wait with all our attention directed toward living the message of Christ "until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." Because of the transfiguration of Jesus, we know that the darkness will not last forever. It will end in an eternal day.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

Peter's impulse to mark this spot of encounter with Jesus was not wrong. It is a very human instinct. Our churches and shrines are "holy ground" for us. When we make a prayer corner at home or at school, we are setting aside "holy ground." Does this holy ground help you to be aware of God's presence? Does this holy ground help you to listen to Christ? How?

Why didn't Jesus and the apostles stay on the mountain? Why did they come down? What do you think?

Gospel Mark 9:2-10

Gospel Reflection

In this reading, Jesus takes his apostles Peter, James, and John up a high mountain. There, he is transfigured before them. He shows them the glory that is his as the only-begotten Son of God. With Jesus are the Old Testament prophets, Moses and Elijah.

Peter can hardly believe his eyes. He wants to do something to commemorate this wonderful event. He suggests that they build three tents there! He wanted to mark this spot as holy. Then, from heaven, the voice of the Father was heard: "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." Suddenly, all was still. They looked up, and there was Jesus, alone with them. Then he prepared them for his death and resurrection.

It is important to remember that this event happened just before the passion and death of Jesus. This was a special gift to the apostles, so that they would remember that Jesus, their teacher and friend, was also their Lord, their Savior, and the Son of God.

Long after this event, Peter wrote about it in his first letter. How did he suggest we commemorate this event? Not by building tents on holy ground, but by paying attention to the message of Christ, by listening to the Son of God.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

Dazzling White

In the gospel Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up a mountain. There Jesus' clothes become dazzling white.

Reproduce a picture of Jesus on manilla paper for each child. Have the children make Jesus' clothing dazzling white by painting his clothing with white paint.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

Up and Down the Mountain

Imagine that Jesus chose you to come up the mountain with him. He wanted to tell you something that you really needed to know. Close your eyes and see yourself following Jesus up the mountain. The path is not easy. It is rocky and slippery. You grab onto tree branches to help keep your balance. But you keep following Jesus as he leads the way. When you get to the top, Jesus turns around toward you. He gives you time to rest awhile with him. Then, just before he turns to leave, he says...

Then you say...

As you start down the mountain again, keep in mind what he has told you. You are so happy that you have listened to him! Open your eyes slowly as we say the prayer he taught us together: "Our Father..."

(Invite those who feel comfortable in doing so to share their experience.)

Where Is Christ Today?

The Transfiguration was a "preview" of Jesus' resurrection. Now the risen Jesus is with us today. Make a triptych (a piece of art in three sections) to show that we encounter Jesus in his glory today. How? List the ways! Of course the Mass and the sacraments would head the list! Because we each belong to the body of Christ, every time we show love for one another, we are being Christ to others. Others meet Christ in us. Fold a piece of paper into three sections. In the middle section, draw a symbol or figure of Christ. It may be the Transfiguration scene, or any symbol you like.

On the two sides, write or draw all the ways you can think of that we can see Christ today—if we have eyes to see! Think of the Eucharist and the other sacraments. Think of someone who is good to you. Do not forget to include Christ in the poor and in those who help them.

For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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