Who we are

Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, an Australian community, in a worldwide religious congregation.

Ministry Mission

Jesus loved with a human heart: with him we proclaim his love to the world.

Peace, Justice, Creation

We work to discover through advocacy, healing and reconciliation, God's presence in our world.

Spirituality

We are to be on earth the heart of God. God has no other heart but ours.

LITURGY NOTES FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

second sunday

Second Sunday of Lent
March 12, 2017

Suggested formula for recognition of Indigenous people and their land

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we stand

We pay our respects to them for their care of the land

May we walk gently and respectfully upon the land.

or

I acknowledge the living culture of the ……..people,

the traditional custodians of the land we stand on,

and pay tribute to the unique role they play in the life of this region.

or

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land where we are now gathered,

(the ……) and recognise that it continues to be sacred to them.

We hail them: as guardians of the earth and of all things that grow and breed in the soil; as trustees of the waters – [the seas, the streams and rivers, the ponds and the lakes] - and the rich variety of life in those waters.

We thank them for passing this heritage to every people since the Dreamtime.

We acknowledge the wrongs done to them by newcomers to this land and we seek to be partners with them in righting these wrongs and in living together in peace and harmony.

 
 
 
Readings
Reading I Genesis 12:1-4a
Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
Reading II 2 Timothy 1:8b-10
Gospel Matthew 17:1-9
Penitential Rite
  • Christ Jesus, radiant with God’s peace, your light shines on us. Jesus, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, beloved Son of God, you confirm us in God’s love. Christ, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, God’s favour rests on you, you strengthen us with your presence. Jesus, have mercy.

Or

  • On our faces that are indifferent and withhold love, let the light of your face shine: Jesus, have mercy.
  • On our tired, fearful and discouraged faces, let the light of your face shine: Christ, have mercy.
  • On suffering, lonely and despairing faces, let the light of your face shine: Jesus, have mercy.

Opening Prayer

Transfiguring God,

as we stand in the presence of Jesus, your Son,

his radiant face gives us light and peace.

May sin not disfigure nor divide us.

May his transfigured face

shine on all of us and give us courage

so that we too may become lights to one another.

For the Prayer of the Faithful

Introduction: In the midst of a world that numb and filled with fear and anguish, we pray that the Church will rise up and be a sign of hope which transforms human existence. We pray in response: May your light shine on us, O God.

  1. That Church will be enlightened by the radiant presence of Christ in its love and acceptance of all peoples and cultures without discrimination: people who are poor and rich, the strong and the weak, we pray: May your light shine on us, O God.

  1. That all the children of Abraham who believe in the one God – Jews, Muslims and Christians – be transfigured by the light of Christ as they respectfully dialogue with each other, acknowledge and welcome differences and cherish each other’s gifts, we pray: May your light shine on us, O God.

  1. That the people of Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Thailand, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Nigeria will have their genuine aspirations for peace and freedom, we pray: May your light shine on us, O God.

  1. That leaders of nations, economists and politicians, poets and artists, will be inspired by the light of Christ to bring justice and peace to their people, we pray: May your light shine on us, O God.

  1. That all who suffer, all who are marginalised and who have been wounded, especially by the Church, may have their stories told and received and find hope and courage by the support they receive, we pray: May your light shine on us, O God.

  1. That members of parliament find the courage to speak out with compassion against the injustices perpetrated against people who are living with mental illness; people in prisons and people seeking asylum, we pray: May your light shine on us, O God.

  1. That government and business leaders work together to provide genuine and just programmes to our neighbours so that the people will live a dignified life and develop a just peace, we pray: May your light shine on us, O God.

  1. That doing Lent we might focus more on what we can do in building relationships in our communities and workplaces by our attentiveness, generosity and kindness, we pray: May your light shine on us, O God.

  1. That the church heed the Gospel mandate to cherish all life, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, welcome the refugee and care for all those who are most in need, we pray: May your light shine on us, O God.

  1. That writers, musicians, artists and all who create beauty listen to the divine voice within them as they work so that they may participate in the transfiguration of the world, we pray: May your light shine on us, O God.

Concluding Prayer: Transfiguring God, open our hearts so that we might continue to receive your light as we cooperate with you in transforming the world.

Prayer over the Gifts

Transfiguring God,

may we see beyond this bread

and recognize Jesus in our midst.

As this bread and wine

becomes our food and drink of life,

may we become to those around us

bread of strength and a source of joy

and reveal to them the face of Christ.

Deliver Us [after the Lord’s Prayer]

Deliver us, Transfiguring God, from every evil

and grant us peace in our day.

Open our eyes to our shortcomings

and wake us up from our complacency,

that we may follow Jesus, your Son, without fear,

and thus hasten the coming in glory

of Jesus Christ, our Saviour……

Prayer after Communion

Transfiguring God,

may Jesus give us the courage

to listen to his voice

and to carry out your plans.

Keep us firm in the hope

that everything has meaning

as we respond to you with love

and generous service

to all our sisters and brothers

Notices

March 12 Call to Mercy Mass, St Mary’s Church 21 Swanson Street, Erskineville, at 11.30 followed by light refreshments. All are welcome to this Mass, particularly anyone who feels in any way marginalised in the church.

March 17 St Patrick

March 19 St Joseph, husband of Mary

March 19 Foundation of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart at Penola in South Australia in 1866

March 19 Invasion of Iraq by USA, Australia and other allies in 2003

Further Resources 

Although the Gospel invites us to stand with the blessed and become one of them, who among us wants to be poor, hungry, weeping, or persecuted? Who does not aspire to be rich, well-fed, laughing, and popular? Who dares love our enemies, bless those who persecute us, and do good to those who hurt us? This is the discipleship challenge of Jesus.

John Dear sj, from Transfiguration: A Meditation on Transforming Ourselves and Our World

‘No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.’

Edmund Burke

‘We were taught under the old ethic that man's business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. Thousands of years ago the question was asked; ''Am I my brother's keeper?'' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society.

Yes, I am my brother's keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death’: 

Eugene V. Debs, 1908 speech

‘[I]n such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners.’ 

Albert Camus

... the 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy. 

Alex Carey

I cannot accept that to be realistic means to tolerate misery, violence and hate. I do not believe that the hungry man should be treated as subversive for expressing his suffering. I shall never accept that the law can be used to justify tragedy, to keep things as they are, to make us abandon our ideas of a different world. Law is the path of liberty, and must as such open the way to progress for everyone. 

Oscar Arias Sanchez, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and President of Costa Rica

Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority. 

Albert Camus

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.

Frederick Douglass

There is no room for legal hair-splitting when it comes to the humane treatment of detainees - not in a nation founded on the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Senator Dick Durbin

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.

Albert Einstein

You can't say civilization don't advance... in every war they kill you in a new way.

Will Rogers

Nations have recently been led to borrow billions for war; no nation has ever borrowed largely for education... no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization. We must make our choice; we cannot have both.

Abraham Flexner

My idea of our civilization is that it is a shoddy, poor thing and full of cruelties, vanities, arrogances, meannesses and hypocrisies

Mark Twain

Is man's civilization only a wrappage, through which the savage nature of him can still burst, infernal as ever? 

Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution, vol III, book V, chapter 7

And the wind shall say ‘Here were decent godless people; Their only monument the asphalt road, And a thousand lost golf balls.’

T.S. Eliot

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.

Albert Einstein

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamour of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

Martin Luther King Jr

The spiritual life depends on the Unseen.

Each day try to see more good in people,

more of the Unseen in the seen.

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Love of neighbour is an absolute demand for justice, because charity must manifest itself in actions and structures which respect human dignity, protect human rights, and facilitate human development. To promote justice is to transform structures which block love.

Justice in the World, 1971 Synod of Bishops

Equally worrying is the ecological question which accompanies the problem of consumerism and which is closely connected to it. In their desire to have and to enjoy rather than to be and to grow, people consume the resources of the earth and their own life in an excessive and disordered way. At the root of the senseless destruction of the natural environment lies an anthropological error, which unfortunately is widespread in our day. Human beings, who discovers their capacity to transform and in a certain sense create the world through their own work, forgets that this is always based on God's prior and original gift of the things that are. Human beings think that they can make arbitrary use of the earth, [abusing] it without restraint to their will, as though it did not have its own requisites and a prior God-given purpose, which the human person can indeed develop but must not betray. Instead of carrying out their role as a co-operator with God in the work of creation, human beings set themselves up in place of God and thus end up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature, which is more tyrannized than governed by them.

John Paul II, Centesius Annus, 37

It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.

Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize

After the Transfiguration

Grinding up the steep incline,

our calves throbbing,

we talked of problems

and slapped at flies.

Then you touched my shoulder,

said, ‘turn around.’

Behind us floated

surprise mountains

blue on lavender,

water-colored ranges:

a glimpse from God's eyes.

Descending, how could we chat

mundanely of the weather, like deejays?

We wondered if, returning,

James and John had squabbled:

whose turn to fetch the water,

after the waterfall of grace?

After he imagined the shining tents,

did Peter's walls seem narrow,

smell of rancid fish?

Did feet that poised on Tabor

cross the cluttered porch?

After the bleached light,

could eyes adjust to ebbing

grey and shifting shade?

Kathy Coffey

The purpose of Lent is not only expiation, to satisfy the divine justice, but above all a preparation to rejoice in God's love. And this preparation consists in receiving the gift of God's mercy - a gift which we receive in so far as we open our hearts to it, casting out what cannot remain in the same room with mercy. Now one of the things we must cast out first of all is fear. Fear narrows the little entrance of our heart. It shrinks up our capacity to love. It freezes up our power to give ourselves. If we were terrified of God as an inexorable judge, we would not confidently await God's mercy, or approach God trustfully in prayer. Our peace, our joy in Lent are a guarantee of grace.

Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration

Contemporary American churches in particular do not require following Christ in his example, spirit, and teachings as a condition of membership—either of entering into or continuing in fellowship of a denomination or a local church.... Most problems in contemporary churches can be explained by the fact that members have not yet decided to follow Christ.

Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Discipline

The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says, ‘Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you.... Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.’ Both harder and easier than what we are all trying to do.

C.S Lewis, Mere Christianity

The industrial way of life leads to the industrial way of death. From Shiloh to Dachau, from Antietam to Stalingrad, from Hiroshima to Vietnam and Afghanistan, the great specialty of industry and technology has been the mass production of human corpses.

Edward Abbey

The death of a single human being is too heavy a price for the vindication of any principle, however sacred.

Daniel Berrigan

War paralyses your courage and deadens the spirit of true manhood. It degrades and stupefies with the sense that you are not responsible, that 'tis not yours to think and reason why, but to do and die,' like the hundred thousand others doomed like yourself. War means blind obedience, unthinking stupidity, brutish callousness, wanton destruction, and irresponsible murder.

Alexander Berkman

It seems that 'we have never gone to war for conquest, for exploitation, nor for territory'; we have the word of a president [McKinley] for that. Observe, now, how Providence overrules the intentions of the truly good for their advantage. We went to war with Mexico for peace, humanity and honor, yet emerged from the contest with an extension of territory beyond the dreams of political avarice. We went to war with Spain for relief of an oppressed people [the Cubans], and at the close found ourselves in possession of vast and rich insular dependencies [primarily the Philippines] and with a pretty tight grasp upon the country for relief of whose oppressed people we took up arms. We could hardly have profited more had 'territorial aggrandizement' been the spirit of our purpose and heart of our hope. The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations.

Ambrose Bierce, Warlike America

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods

Albert Einstein

COWARDICE, n. A charge often levelled by all-American types against those who stand up for their beliefs by refusing to fight in wars they find unconscionable, and who willingly go to prison or into exile in order to avoid violating their own consciences. These 'cowards' are to be contrasted with red-blooded, 'patriotic' youths who literally bend over, grab their ankles, submit to the government, fight in wars they do not understand (or disapprove of), and blindly obey orders to maim and to kill simply because they are ordered to do so-all to the howling approval of the all-American mob. This type of behaviour is commonly termed 'courageous.

Chaz Bufe

There is no absolute knowledge. And those who claim it, whether they are scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy. All information is imperfect. We have to treat it with humility.

J. Bronowski

The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.

Mahatma Gandhi

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enem.

James Madison

There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.

Bertrand Russell

The true civilization is where every man gives to every other every right that he claims for himself:

Robert Ingersoll

Silence is more musical than any song.

Christina Rossetti

There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

Aldous Huxley

Oppression can only survive through silence.

Carmen de Monteflores

The cruelest lies are often told in silence.

Robert Louis Stevenson

You have not converted a [man] because you have silenced him.

John, Lord Morley

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.

Andre Gide

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

Andre Gide

There are admirable potentialities in every human being. Believe in your strength and your youth. Learn to repeat endlessly to yourself, 'It all depends on me.'

Andre Gide

Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself - and thus make yourself indispensable.

Andre Gide

Work and struggle and never accept an evil that you can change.

Andre Gide

I submit to you that if a (man) hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.

Martin Luther King, Jr Speech in Detroit, June 23, 1963

Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'

Martin Luther King, Jr Speech at Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Martin Luther King, Jr Speech at Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Strength to Love, 1963

The ultimate measure of a (man) is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where [he] stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Strength to Love, 1963

...And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech in Memphis, April 3, 1968, the day before King was assassinated

Most glorious and inclusive God,

Help us to see your transfiguring powers

when we encounter you in inclusive communities.

Help us to feel your transfiguring powers

as you call our ancestors to attest to your hopes for us and our communities.

Help us to experience your transfiguring powers

as we encounter Jesus resisting oppressive powers in his day and ours.

Help us to encounter you transfigured before us

as we join you in bold ministries of inclusion, intimacy, and justice.

Transfigure our world.

Amen.

Call us out, O God, from familiar settings.

Lead us into unexplored regions,

and make our lives a blessing to all whom we meet.

Give us courage to explore you and to explore ourselves openly.

Amen.

Some reflections on the readings

Mount Tabor [the Mount of the Transfiguration] is steep; rugged and hard to climb. It is narrow and dangerous. And below is the vast, unending plain of Jezreel. There is nothing there. It is out of the way - bleak, isolated and stark.

Genesis today refers to how barren human history can be and has been. Barrenness is a metaphor for hopelessness. There is also the promise of fertility, new life, the newness of all things and new history. There is a radical breaking away from the old [oppression, hopelessness and futility] in leaving the secure barrenness for the sake of a risky future. Abram’s experience is repeated in the experience of the millions of immigrants and refugees today.

The gospel invites us to see things from another viewpoint, to see things in a new way. The cloud images the presence of God in our doubting, suffering and uncertain lives. But, how is the mountaintop experience connected with the poverty, hurt, suffering and injustice around us? The transfiguration is not removed from our lives. The very 'stuff' of daily human life is charged and transformed by his presence with us; who helps us see the importance of what seems ordinary. Gerard Manley Hopkins: 'The world is charged with grandeur of God.' Our world is transfigured because of Christ. The Transfiguration is a turning point in Jesus’ story and our story. And there were no doubt many transfiguring moments for Jesus, e.g., his encounter with the Syro-Phoenician woman who asked that he heal her daughter. Her refusal to let him off the hook when he said it was not right to fed the dogs before his own people caused him to see that the gospel must go to the ‘dogs’; it must go to those who marginalised, disempowered, violated and abused in some way.

As usual the disciples fall asleep at very crucial moments. It reflects the tendency to close our eyes to the reality of others around and among us rather than allowing them to be transfiguring moments. The gospel invites us again to see in a new way - from the bottom up; from the point of view of ‘the dogs’; the outsider; the vulnerable; the woman; the asylum seeker; the youth on the streets. This is not a top-down approach.

Our seeing is often affected by the media, our history and experiences, our cultural biases and even our fears. The ‘transfiguration experience’ we need today is to see things with the eyes of Jesus, and from the perspective of the poor, the powerless, women, people of other cultures.

Through the cloud God says, ‘This is my Son, the beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’

Listen to him. And see the light of God in a new humanity; see the transfiguration.

Listen to him in the soldier who rejects war and military activity; see the transfiguration.

Listen to him in the member of parliament who risks censure for speaking out with courage on behalf constituents who are rarely heard, or rarely considered; see the transfiguration.

Listen to him in the dissenter or whistleblower who speaks the truth and risks his or her life or freedom; see the transfiguration.

Listen to him in those who divest from corporations that destroy peoples’ lives and the environment; see the transfiguration.

Listen to him in all who offer their lives for the sake of others who are strangers; see the transfiguration.

‘This is my beloved on whom my favour rests - the favour of grace, spirit, justice, care for the poor, obedience. Listen to him and not to anyone else.’

We are invited to look at the world differently. We need to uphold our belief in a better world especially when our hope is challenged. Belief in this alternative world makes true life possible. It calls for a kind of ‘craziness’ to change the world. It calls for a questioning and challenging of everything – especially when ‘the good is presented as evil’ and ‘evil presented as good’.

Rather than putting on ‘sackcloth and ashes’, rather than ‘fasting’ or ‘abstaining’ and depriving ourselves of food, alcohol, etc., could we consider doing something different?

  • Challenge individualism and promote community and solidarity.
  • Challenge racism and ethnocentrism, homophobia and sexism, and promote openness and diversity.
  • Challenge lazy imitation, and promote inventiveness and creativity.
  • Challenge mere tolerance and indifference, and seek to create understanding and compromise.
  • Challenge the mere doing of ‘good things’ which do not touch the causes of suffering; and strive to create a true spirit of justice.
  • Challenge complacency and self-sufficiency; and strive to for solidarity and interdependence.
  • Challenge propaganda and lies, especially about the poor, the vulnerable, the unemployed and marginalised people, and strive to build a spirit of truth.
  • Challenge hypocrisy and self-righteousness in the Church; and seek to build a church of the poor and the powerless.
  • Challenge jokes, unkind language, slander, debasement of others, demonisation and dehumanisation by politicians and religious leaders.

Through their mountain-top experience the disciples see there is more to Jesus than they thought. How often do we ever hear the church say something positive about us? We hear mostly condemnation – not good enough; not trying hard enough. The gospel says that there is more to each of us than meets the eye – and that we are also worth listening to. Each of us – whoever we are and wherever we are from – bears the imprint of God. ‘Listen to him! Listen to her’.

Last Sunday, we saw how Jesus was tempted to not be human: to reject who he was; to doubt what he knew to be true; to settle for less than what God promised. We can all be tempted in this way. Jesus’ revenge was to live well through justice, building peace and relating with compassion.

If God is revealed in the face of Jesus, Jesus is revealed in the human faces – ‘a thousand faces, not his’ as one poet put it. We need only to open our eyes to witness the daily revelations of Jesus' presence. Jesus made clear that we should change and start to shine. Lent calls for a transfiguration of our hearts and minds.

Let us look on his face where we find our gaze being drawn where his is directed: God and our neighbours. Being faced by Jesus means radical welcome, dignity, being loved. To know the glory of that face, we cannot ignore any human face. ‘The hardest thing is when people behave as if you are not there’ [said a person with a physical disability]. Society often behaves like that towards people living with disability, mental illness. The disability or poverty or sexual orientation is seen but not the face. Can we discover the beauty that only comes from being looked upon with love, appreciation and delight?

The ’transfiguration experience’ returns us to the world: not to be more pious, or doctrinally sound; or deferent to authority, or withdrawing from and being untouched by everyday cares and questions. We need to go down the mountain again. A genuine ‘transfiguration experience’ results in greater involvement that changes, transforms, heals - to work miracles for the poor and marginalized. The disciples thought they 'left the world' below.

This gospel critiques the tendency in the church to continually tell people they are not good enough or doing enough. The words spoken over Jesus are spoken over each one of us. And we are called to listen to one another. When everyone says ‘not good enough’, God says ‘I am well pleased’. Jesus leads the disciples around cliff edges, over rocky roads, down the mountain to the dirty towns and hurting people and unbelieving officials and ineffective institutions, where the sick and outcast, the abandoned waited for them. When we think of how our church can act. We look at how Jesus and the way we act. He was always the compassionate, welcoming, loving, forgiving messenger of God. People are still rejected because of who they are. People of homosexual orientation are often failed. Many have not felt welcome or accepted as the people God made them. We also fail to ensure full equality for every person within the church. Women are discriminated against. They are not allowed to receive all the church’s sacraments. They are not allowed to minister as priests within the church. We see in the gospels how Jesus related to women and how he broke down the barriers and rules that discriminated against women – as well as the downcast, the poor and the oppressed. The church often fails to work to change what is unjust in the world. The story of the Transfiguration makes me wonder if we got it all wrong when we ended up building church buildings instead of building up the ‘church’ -- Jesus sends them all down in the valley to work - refusing Peter's offer to build buildings.

So for our spiritual journey to have any meaning we have to wade into the throngs of humanity amongst us. We cannot doze off and go to sleep at these crucial moments because of fear or apathy or both.

The transfiguration is not a one off event. It is constantly recurring. Jesus transfigured many people - the broken, the wounded, and the wayward. He called to the deepest part of people and transfigured them by the power of God's love. For Jesus that experience was getting closer to who we really are when we hear our name called in love. When that happens we become different and enabled to face the future – to ‘get up’ and go down rocky slopes and faces all measure of people. And he would have been transfigured by them as well. We have a responsibility to construct a world without poverty, war and violence, a place where no one goes hungry; all races and ethnic groups flourish as in a vast garden of many colours. But building this world of peace and justice will require hard work and sacrifice on our part.

Steve Covey in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People recalls an experience on a NY subway one morning. People quietly sat on the train - some reading, others dozing, others contemplating with their eyes closed. It was a peaceful and calm scene. At one stop, a man and children entered the carriage. The children began yelling, throwing things, and grabbing people's newspapers. Though disturbing, their father just sat and did nothing. Steve could not believe the man's insensitivity as he allowed his children run wild and do nothing about it. Clearly, everyone else in the carriage was also annoyed. Finally, Steve said with as much patience he could muster, ‘Your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn't control them a little bit more?’ The man looked up as if coming into consciousness for the first time and said, ‘Oh, you are right. I can do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died an hour ago. I don't know what to think and I suppose they don't know how to handle it either.’ Suddenly Steven Covey saw things differently and thus felt differently and behaved differently. His irritation vanished. No longer did he have to control his attitude or his behaviour. He felt sympathy and compassion for this man's pain.

Nothing had changed in the carriage: the same people, the same irritation, and the same kids. What changed was a way of seeing it all and with the seeing, a change of behaviour. It was a moment of transfiguration, of revelation. We have to see differently to recognise such revelations of God in our daily lives

second sunday