Sunday reflection: Matthew 17:1-9

posted at 9:31 am on March 16, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

“Sunday Reflection” is a regular feature, looking at the specific readings used in today’s Mass in Catholic parishes around the world. The reflection only represents my own point of view, intended to help prepare myself for the Lord’s day and perhaps spark a meaningful discussion. For previous entries, click here.

Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew 17:1–9:

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Peter’s reaction to the Transfiguration reminds me of an old joke. A young parish priest walks into the worship space of his church to see Jesus Himself praying at the altar. He alerts the pastor, who alerts the bishop. The bishop tells the pastor that he must consult with the Pope at the Vatican on this, and he will call him right back. The phone rings shortly afterward, and the pastor asks what the Pope advised. The bishop replies, “The Pope says — look busy!

That seems to be Peter’s first impulse at the Transfiguration, which is so awesome and powerful a vision that Peter … wants to do anything else but deal with it. Here he has Jesus, Moses, and Elijah conversing, and rather than do homage or just experience this unique pre-Resurrection theophany, Peter offers to go somewhere else to get materials for construction.  He feels he must do something in response to this event, and anything but what the moment should call him to do.

This passage becomes even more remarkable when one has visited Mount Tabor, where the Transfiguration took place. It’s a high peak, one that take considerable time and effort to reach the summit in any age. When we went to the Franciscan church at the top on our pilgrimage last November, we went in a van driven by a young man who tried setting speed records up the mountain. When we got to the top, I had no desire to go back down … like, ever, especially with the same driver. Had we hiked up the mountain, I’d probably have felt the same way out of exhaustion. Yet here is Peter, volunteering to go down at least partway to find materials for tents and to haul them back up to the top, rather than embrace the moment and the revelation playing out in front of him.

Why does this passage speak to us? I know that I struggle with the same impulse — to find something to do that takes me away from baring my soul to God. My life as a professional writer in the blogosphere has many blessings, but a distraction-free environment is not one of them. In attempting to build a regular prayer life, I find myself being distracted by the impulse to do whenever I draw closer to the Holy Spirit, rather than just be, and experience that closeness and love.  I often find my life filled with busy-ness as well as business, wasting time better spent in prayer and reflection on nothing of much value at all, not even amusement or entertainment. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a weird kind of defense mechanism; we look for ways to avoid that total intimacy with God, when we think and say that we desire nothing more.

C. S. Lewis noted this same impulse in his marvelous book The Screwtape Letters. In Letter 4, Screwtape advises Wormwood that humans fail to achieve efficacious prayer because they have an impulse to flee from the divine. “In avoiding this situation—this real nakedness of the soul in prayer—you will be helped by the fact that the humans themselves do not desire it as much as they suppose,” Lewis writes. “There’s such a thing as getting more than they bargained for!”

Peter certainly got more than he bargained for in the Transfiguration, as do we all when encountering the true nature of Christ and His sacrifice.  Efficacious communion with God involves intimacy, a true nakedness of the soul. Adam and Eve rejected this in Genesis and instead desired to usurp God, which is why Jesus’ redemption became necessary for all humanity. Even Peter cannot at this point embrace such nakedness, even though he had already proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God before (Matthew 16:16-20). When God’s voice speaks after Peter’s suggestion, Peter and the apostles finally are forced to deal with the reality of what they are experiencing — that soul-nakedness — and react in fright. Jesus intercedes to calm them, and when they recover, Jesus stands alone with them once again — making him the center of their faith.

Peter’s impulse to look for something to do isn’t to say that all work is bad, of course. We are called to support ourselves and our families, and to put our gifts to use in strengthening the Christian community. Building churches and feeding the poor are works, as are evangelizing and worshiping, and all sorts of activities to which Christians are called by Scripture and in faith. Paul certainly exhorted the communities he converted to Christianity to an active faith; he spends a great deal of time in 1 Corinthians discussing the uses of baptismal charisms (gifts of the Holy Spirit) in works to build the Church and the Body of Christ, with special emphasis on those uses in worship, for instance. But Paul notes in today’s second reading (2 Timothy 1:8-10) that works by themselves don’t mean much without the “holy life” enabled by the grace of Jesus Christ, a call which has “brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.”

We get a taste of that holy life and immortality through efficacious prayer. In fact, that’s what the Transfiguration demonstrated to the apostles, and to us — the fellowship of saints in the kingdom of God with God through Jesus Christ. The extent to which we cringe from that reminds us of our shame at sinfulness, and how much we need Jesus’ intervention to embrace it. We should earnestly desire to enter into that communion and find delight in it. At times we substitute “looking busy” for efficacious prayer, or use the busy-ness of our lives to avoid prayer.  That builds walls of fear and anxiety between us and God, leading us to rely on material goods instead of His love, which eventually leads us into sin. Only through prayer can we form ourselves to communion with God, and when we seek Him in earnest, we should not flee in fright when He finds us.

In other words, when the Lord speaks to you, don’t just do something … stand there. And listen.

Note: We will be winding down the Green Room, and this feature will be on the main Hot Air page every Sunday from now on. The Green Room archives will remain, though, and links will still be active.

Update: As I mentioned, I’ve been to Mount Tabor, and I took a couple of pictures after surviving the shuttle-van service to the top. The best of them are in the final three shots in this Facebook album, but I’ll post the photo here of the altar in the Church of the Transfiguration:

tabor-church


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Thanks, Ed. Glad you moved it up here…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 9:32 AM

It had to be a moment of a lifetime for Peter to witness the Transfiguration…

Note: We will be winding down the Green Room, and this feature will be on the main Hot Air page every Sunday from now on. The Green Room archives will remain, though, and links will still be active.

Won’t miss the GR at all…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Thank you Ed,
Thanks for helping me start my day in the right direction.

MrMoe on March 16, 2014 at 9:42 AM

As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

The very core of my belief is more in what has happened in my life that is impossible to explain away as coincidence when I have turned to God for answers or help. People think you an idiot to believe in things that would be described as miracles. But really, any intervention from or interaction with God is one. My life has had many significant little miracles to point to in buttressing my faith. I admit I am not the guy to point to as an example of a great Christian. But I find it hard to imagine someone believing any stronger.

hawkdriver on March 16, 2014 at 9:53 AM

I’m a terrible Catholic. I don’t read the Bible often enough and was confused by why Peter mentioned Moses and Elijah.

Annie21LA on March 16, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Our American Christianity is a Heritage of Love. Thanks, Ed.

kingsjester on March 16, 2014 at 10:02 AM

I’m a terrible Catholic. I don’t read the Bible often enough and was confused by why Peter mentioned Moses and Elijah.

Annie21LA on March 16, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Me too. I like having someone else explain things.

scalleywag on March 16, 2014 at 10:21 AM

“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25: 4 & 5

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Good post Ed.

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM

C. S. Lewis

My favorite Christian writer.

“Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self—in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 10:37 AM

St. Thomas Aquinas called the Transfiguration “the greatest miracle”…yet I really don’t hear it mentioned very often, either at Sunday mass or in conversation/reading.

Even Peter cannot at this point embrace such nakedness, even though he had already proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God before (Matthew 16:16-20). When God’s voice speaks after Peter’s suggestion, Peter and the apostles finally are forced to deal with the reality of what they are experiencing…

Had the Transfiguration never happened, would it have made a difference in how Jesus was seen as the Son of God by His apostles?

JetBoy on March 16, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Thank you for having the courage and moral fortitude to include Scriptural examinations on your front page, Mr. Morrissey. I appreciate these things, from both yourself and Erick Erickson as well.

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 10:39 AM

I’m a terrible Catholic. I don’t read the Bible often enough and was confused by why Peter mentioned Moses and Elijah.

Annie21LA on March 16, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Pope John Paul II Homily on The Transfiguration on March 7, 1993 — He sees the transfiguration as a foretaste of our Christian victory over death:

“Jesus took Peter, James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them” (Mt 17:1-2)

“Lord, it is good that we are here”

Mt 17:4

We can imagine the three disciples’ astonishment at the vision. They were used to seeing Jesus in the humble aspect of his daily humanity and how great must have been their awe and emotion at seeing the splendor of a transfigured Jesus! Peter’s offer to pitch three tents, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah, expresses his desire to make this moment of grace and uncontainable joy last as long as possible.

“Lord, it is good that we are here”! On Tabor Jesus gave his favorite disciples an anticipation of the glory of the resurrection, a glimpse of heaven on earth, a taste of “paradise”.

While Peter “was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him”‘ (Mt 17:5). It is a true manifestation of God, which recalls the “theophanies” experienced by the patriarchs of old, and it is similar to what took place on the banks of the Jordan after the Redeemer’s baptism. As then, here too a trinitarian presence is revealed: the voice of the Father, the person of the incarnate Son and the shining cloud, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, like the dove which rested on Christ when he was baptized by his fore-runner. The Apostles’ emotions change: their joy is replaced by a great fear; they fall prostrate to the ground. “Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and do not be afraid’. And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone” (Mt 17:7-8).

Transfiguration shows goal of our existence.

The mystery of the transfiguration takes place at a very precise moment in Jesus’ preaching, as he begins to confide to the disciples the necessity of his going up “to Jerusalem and suffer greatly. . . and be killed and on the third day be raised” (Mt 16:21). Reluctantly they hear the first announcement of the passion and before stressing it again and confirming it, the divine Master wants to give them a proof of his total rootedness in the will of the Father so that they do not waver in the face of the scandal of the cross. In fact, the passion and death will be the way through which the heavenly Father will have his “beloved Son” achieve glory, risen from the dead. From now on this will also be the disciples’ way. No one will come to the light except through the cross, the symbol of the suffering which afflicts human existence. Thus the cross is transformed into an instrument for the expiation of the sins of all humanity. United with his Lord in love, the disciple participates in his redemptive passion. Therefore, in today’s reading St. Paul exhorts Timothy in these words: “Bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God. He saved us and called us to a holy life” (2 Tm 1:8-9). For the believer suffering is nothing but a temporary passage, a transitory condition. Jesus, the Apostle stresses, “has destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel” (2 Tm 1:10).

The goal of our existence is therefore as shining as the transfigured countenance of the Messiah: in him is salvation, happiness, glory, unlimited love of God. How, therefore, could we not be prepared to suffer for such a goal? It finds meaning in our effort to conform our weak nature to the demands of goodness. It takes into consideration the physical and spiritual limitations of our person and of our daily social relationships, unfortunately marred by selfishness and sin, which make our spiritual journey taxing.

Finally, the transfiguration offers us prospects for a change which is both fundamental and supernatural, of a victory and proclamation of the passover of Christ, an announcement of the cross and resurrection. It is the transfigured Christ, the Christ whom after his resurrection the Apostles and so many other witnesses of his resurrection will see with their own eyes. They are witnesses of the newness of the world inaugurated by his resurrection and foretold by his transfiguration.

Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus has given us the means to be victorious in fighting the good fight of faith in fidelity to his word and humble adherence to the cross. Assiduously listening to the Gospel, celebrating the saving mystery in the sacraments and the Eucharistic liturgy, we become capable of proclaiming and bearing witness to Christian newness with a generous, prompt readiness. Not by ourselves, however, but as part of the Body of Christ which is the Church, the universal sacrament of salvation. The Church is the great community of those who believe in Jesus Christ, led by the Pastors he has chosen. In his love for mankind he constituted the Twelve as his witnesses and entrusted to them the task of safe-guarding the faith and continuing his work under the guidance of Peter. The Apostles and their successors gave life to the particular Churches, foremost among which is our Church of Rome, the Diocese of Peter’s Successor…”

http://faithleap.org/Transfiguration_of_the_Lord.htm

“No, it was none of these, but only Moses and Elijah – the lawgiver and the prophet. These two would see the Lord’s glory, even before the Resurrection; for their appearance indicates that our Savior must suffer greatly and be crucified…

http://newtheologicalmovement.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-moses-and-elijah-appeared-at.html

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Ed, this is the best post of yours I ever read.

Blacksheep on March 16, 2014 at 10:46 AM

“Fr. Romano Guardini, The Lord (Moses and Elias)
When we read the Synoptic accounts of the Transfiguration, we usually concentrate our attention on what happens to the Lord and on its relation to the Resurrection. All too easily we overlook the appearance of the two men who are seen conversing with him. What are they doing here, Moses and Elias? One the lawgiver of the old covenant, the other the prophet who, according to the first Book of Kings, did not die, but was spirited away in to heaven. […] Why Moses and not Abraham? Why Elias and not Isaias or one of the other prophets? […]

[Moses] has well been called the most plagued of men. The story of the forty years’ wandering through the desert is the story of a never-ending struggle, not only with the hardships of nature and the assaults of hostile tribes, but also with the apathy and stubbornness of those he was leading. At first the people are enthusiastic, but soon discouraged. They bind themselves with sacred vows, only to forget everything when it comes to the test. They start everything well, but see nothing through, and the moment they meet with difficulties, the experience of God’s great and terrible signs is completely forgotten. […] The record of the march to the Promised Land is the story of the desperately heavy struggle of a powerful, God-fearing will with the crushing burden of humanity. Moses had to carry the entire nation on his shoulders. He was, necessarily, the most patient of men. […]
This then the man who appeared to Christ, to him who was to carry the cross of his people to the bitter end; Moses too they had failed to follow, in the flesh, into the new land of free divine dominion. Yet another leader had to die ‘on the mountaintop’ (this one for our sins, not his own) before the promised Country could become reality. […]

And Elias? It is not too much to call him the mightiest of the prophets. Not as a speaker; there is no record of exalted or path-blazing word from his lips. He left no book; hardly a sentence that in itself is anything out of the ordinary. Nor did he have any remarkable visions or revelations. Yet no other prophet looms as huge against the bottomless depths of divine mystery as Elias; nowhere in the whole history of prophecy do we find an existence of such huge proportions. […]

During Achab’s reign darkness covered the land, the darkness of hell. It was against this dark that Elias had been sent. He never was able to proclaim the tidings of the coming kingdom; he had to fight to the end against a wall of blackness, hardened disbelief; against the violence, blasphemy and bloodthirstiness that stalked through the land, Elias’ life is one titanic struggle against the powers of evil. The spirit of the Lord seethes in him, lifting him high above the human plane, spanning his strength far beyond the human breaking point. […]

Moses who had known the hopelessness of all efforts to rip his people out of the captivity of their own hearts; Elias, who with both sword and spirit had charged the satanic dark. It is as though the weight of one and a half millennia of sacred history had been bundled together and laid upon the shoulders of the Lord. All the enmity against God, heritage of a thousand years of intractability and blindness he must now bear to an end.

No wonder we are shocked when Peter, seeing the radiance, says to Christ: “Master, it is good for us to be here. And let us set up three tents, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias, …” (Luke 9:33).

The Evangelist does well to add, “not knowing what he said.” It is the comprehension of a child, who, witnessing something terrible and ignorant of what it is, thinks it beautiful because it shines…”

http://newtheologicalmovement.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-moses-and-elijah-appeared-at.html

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 10:46 AM

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Thank you. I actually liked having these in the Green Room, because the link would stay at the top of the page until Monday morning at least. But we’re phasing out the Green Room, since most of the things we posted in it could just as easily be front-page posts anyway, including the Sunday Reflections. We’ve expanded the headlines again instead, which I think gives those links a little more room to breathe.

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Peter spoke of building a tabernacle for Moses (the law), Elijah (the prophets), and Jesus. Then God the Father said hear my Son, and when they looked again, the law and the prophets were gone. Jesus is the fulfillment of all. Grace (Jesus) has replaced the law, and “the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy”. Rev.19:10

RichardG on March 16, 2014 at 10:49 AM

“Just before receiving this special grace of seeing Jesus transfigured, Jesus told his disciples that he must suffer greatly, be rejected by the elders, chief priests and scribes, be killed and rise after three days (Matt 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22). How did they react? Peter (in Matt and Mark) rebuked Jesus for saying this (Matt 16:22; Mark 8:32) and Jesus responded, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” (Matt 16:23; Mark 8:33) The disciples had to learn that Jesus was not exactly the type of Messiah that they were expecting. Instead of being a Messiah to liberate Palestine from Roman domination he told them he would be a suffering Messiah and would be executed. What a shock! That was surely a bit much to take. Immediately following this we read that Peter, James and John saw Jesus transfigured (Matt 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36). How they needed this grace now. They had left everything to follow Jesus and he had just told them he would be killed. They needed reassurance, and Jesus did not let them down. They received a huge grace now on the mountain as they saw Jesus transfigured.

Moses and Elijah also appeared and spoke with Jesus. Moses received the Law from God on Mount Sinai and Elijah could be regarded as the greatest of the prophets, certainly here he is a representative of the prophets during Jesus’ transfiguration. So we have the Law and the Prophets, as the Old Testament was often called, with Jesus on the mountain. The Old Testament was pointing forward to Jesus as we heard in that beautiful prophecy of Jesus in our first reading from Dan 7. Now two great figures of the Old Testament, Moses and Elijah, appeared on the mountain with Jesus transfigured, to confirm that Jesus is indeed the expected Messiah. In the opening prayer today we heard,

“God our Father, in the transfigured glory of Christ your Son, you strengthen our faith by confirming the witness of your prophets…”

The Father spoke from heaven and said, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” So the Old Testament and the Father in heaven are now confirming that Jesus is indeed the expected Messiah. Although Jesus had just shocked them by telling them he must suffer and die, this is, in fact, the plan of God for Jesus…” – Homily Fr. Tommy Lane

https://johnib.wordpress.com/tag/transfiguration-is-repeated-every-time-we-listen-to-him-and-allow-our-faith-to-be-enlightened/

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 10:53 AM

My life has had many significant little miracles to point to in buttressing my faith. I admit I am not the guy to point to as an example of a great Christian. But I find it hard to imagine someone believing any stronger.

hawkdriver on March 16, 2014 at 9:53 AM

That’s how it is for me as well. I spent most of my life as what King Solomon defined as being “simpleminded”. No insight or discernment to speak of at all. When a person is lacking in insight, they don’t comprehend things “behind the scenes” or “under the surface” of situations. Without discernment, they don’t differentiate between good and evil, truth and lie, right and wrong, etc. Their ability to do causal analysis stinks, hence they don’t do well in cause-and-effect or potential blessings versus consequences decision making.

Anyway, I spent a lot of years without those traits. Probably was one of the most naïve, gullible, easily-deceived human beings who ever walked the face of this earth. My life went down a path of many things immoral, to my never-ending shame.

For whatever His reasons, God changed all of that. There wasn’t anyone who spelled things out for me in black and white, so I could comprehend them….except for the Holy Spirit. That’s how I came to learn about things of the spiritual realm unseen by human eyes except through faith, and how to differentiate between good and evil, etc. I have no other explanation for it except that God chose to bring this about when He did and in the way that He did.

And as far as I’m concerned, it IS a miracle for which I will always be grateful.

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Thank you for placing this on your front page, Ed. In my view, this is exactly where the Word of God belongs…It IS, after all, ‘front page news’ for every Christian, and the Word needs to be presented as often as possible where those who do not yet accept it as reality can easily find it and hopefully spend a few moments IN it. The time is drawing near when it will be too late for non-believers to come to Jesus for salvation. You do them as well as us a great service. Thanks again…

bimmcorp on March 16, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Will SR be promoted to Top Picks when it gets enough hits, Ed/

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 11:16 AM

This passage always reminds me of the MercyMe song “I Can Only Imagine.” The song speculates on what the reaction will be when finally seeing Christ. I suspect none of us really know what we will do in that time.

Happy Nomad on March 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Will SR be promoted to Top Picks when it gets enough hits, Ed/

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Yes, we’ll treat this like any other main-page post. If it becomes a hot topic (based on page views and/or comments), I’ll move it over.

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Soothing post Ed.

docflash on March 16, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Lovely, Ed Morrissey. And thank you for your reflections, lineholder and hawkdriver.

Mrs.Scott on March 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM

I liked this post very much. Thank you, Ed.

In other words, when the Lord speaks to you, don’t just do something … stand there. And listen.

Good advice.

dogsoldier on March 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 11:19 AM

May I ask why the GR is going away?

dogsoldier on March 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM

May I ask why the GR is going away?

dogsoldier on March 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Traffic didn’t justify it in the long run, plus like I said upstream, most of what was getting posted there could just as easily been added to the front page.

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Wonderful read. Thanks much!

The Zoo Keeper on March 16, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Yeah, I’m enjoying these posts too. I was raised without religion by liberal parents. I’ve come to realize that my lack of knowledge of Christianity is a real handicap, especially in today’s world. I’ve never even read the Bible. Ed’s posts on these are giving me a great intro.

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

I enjoy this feature not only for your reflections, Ed, but for many of the thoughtful comments. One more reason why HotAir is a special place. Thank you.

Blaise on March 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Another great reflection. Thank you, Ed.

Mason on March 16, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Ed’s posts on these are giving me a great intro.

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Prayers ascending for you. It never hurts to search the Scriptures for yourself during the week, and I am sure people would help with your questions in this weekly feature…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 11:53 AM

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

I came to the Lord 4 years ago, my friend. It is never too late, and the wonders and joy that awaits are immense. In all the turmoil surrounding us, I am at peace within myself, and really unafraid of the future. Believing as I do in the Word of God as written in the Bible, I know how this all ends, and I am secure in my faith that eternity at peace awaits me…

bimmcorp on March 16, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Great article, but wouldn’t it have been wonderful to leave the mount barren so that all could experience the surroundings that Peter experienced at the Transfiguration rather than having the site enclosed by a man-made structure? But, such is the character of man to want to erect “tents” to honor momentous events, grand as it is.

HiJack on March 16, 2014 at 12:00 PM

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Thank you. I actually liked having these in the Green Room, because the link would stay at the top of the page until Monday morning at least. But we’re phasing out the Green Room, since most of the things we posted in it could just as easily be front-page posts anyway, including the Sunday Reflections. We’ve expanded the headlines again instead, which I think gives those links a little more room to breathe.

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 10:48 AM

I would encourage you to put this to the left side regardless of comment count and as a regular practice. There is a lot to digest, and putting it under TOP PICKS would give more time to reflect on it.

These are good, Ed. I trust that God is using them.

For it says:

When He ascended on high,
He took prisoners into captivity;
He gave gifts to people.

And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Ephesians 4

davidk on March 16, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Yeah, I’m enjoying these posts too. I was raised without religion by liberal parents. I’ve come to realize that my lack of knowledge of Christianity is a real handicap, especially in today’s world. I’ve never even read the Bible. Ed’s posts on these are giving me a great intro.

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

I would suggest starting with The Gospel According to John and the book (Letter to the) Ephesians.

davidk on March 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM

I’ve never even read the Bible. Ed’s posts on these are giving me a great intro.

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

If you’re interested, this site will help you read through the entire bible in one year – online.

As Omaha said, there’s people here who would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Blessings.

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I would encourage you to put this to the left side regardless of comment count and as a regular practice. There is a lot to digest, and putting it under TOP PICKS would give more time to reflect on it.

You know … why not? Moved over now. Feel free to offer feedback on that practice in the comments, though.

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Cool. Ed has already promoted it…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Moved over now.

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

**Thumbs Up**

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Feel free to offer feedback on that practice in the comments, though.

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Thank you, It never hurts to keep The Holy Gospel/God’s Word prominently placed. You never know, The Holy Spirit can work to change an unbelievers heart. The HS may be using you to do missionary work here. Blessings to everyone…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 12:18 PM

My collie says:

Thanks for the post, Ed. Hopefully, we’ll see more like it in the future.

Ed, I’m not sure, but think you just won the coveted collie seal of approval on this one.

CyberCipher on March 16, 2014 at 12:24 PM

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Many prayers coming your way.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but one of the biggest things for me was to get a glimpse into the character of God Himself. After that, it became a hope that I could grow beyond the person I had become and looking at life more from the viewpoint of what would be pleasing to God for me to do.

It’s well worth the effort, IMO.

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Great article, but wouldn’t it have been wonderful to leave the mount barren so that all could experience the surroundings that Peter experienced at the Transfiguration rather than having the site enclosed by a man-made structure? But, such is the character of man to want to erect “tents” to honor momentous events, grand as it is.

HiJack on March 16, 2014 at 12:00 PM

They built churches on the sites of holy events in no small part to keep other people from building other things on them. It was pre-emptive as well as worshipful. That started in the earliest days of the Christian church, when pilgrims would visit these sites just decades after the events recounted in the Gospels. The emperor Hadrian, attempting to stamp out the Christian faith, ordered sites like the Nativity and the Holy Sepulchre filled in with rocks and idols placed above them, predicting that in 50 years no one would remember them. Instead, after Christianity began to be tolerated and then embraced by the Roman Empire, those idols served as markers for excavation and then church-building.

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 12:37 PM

My life has had many significant little miracles to point to in buttressing my faith. I admit I am not the guy to point to as an example of a great Christian. But I find it hard to imagine someone believing any stronger.

hawkdriver on March 16, 2014 at 9:53 AM

For whatever His reasons, God changed all of that. There wasn’t anyone who spelled things out for me in black and white, so I could comprehend them….except for the Holy Spirit. That’s how I came to learn about things of the spiritual realm unseen by human eyes except through faith, and how to differentiate between good and evil, etc. I have no other explanation for it except that God chose to bring this about when He did and in the way that He did.

And as far as I’m concerned, it IS a miracle for which I will always be grateful.

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Not sure the angels in Heaven rejoice when someone who couldn’t see suddenly can, when someone who couldn’t walk suddenly can. It’s wonderful, and a thing to celebrate — but it’s small compared to the miracle of a person crossing from death into life. The life of every one of God’s people begins with the greatest miracle possible — the springing of a trap that was utterly impossible to spring.

You’re the walking, talking results of the most epic miracle God ever performed — and that was day one. :)

/just talkin

Axe on March 16, 2014 at 12:38 PM

You know … why not?

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Exactly. Even as someone who does not at this moment have a religious feeling, it pains me that I sense in our society today that Christians seem to feel almost like they have to keep their faith a secret. At least that’s the vibe I get. I hate to get political in this thread, but Liberals, it seems to me, have managed to create such a negative stigma about being Christian, that I sense a lot of recoil on the part of Christians. Weird times we live in. There’s a lot more that I could say about this but it would veer far too into the political.

As to everyone else. Thank you. I have a lot to learn.

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Thanks for re-posting the pics you took, Ed…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 12:41 PM

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Really liked this particular comment–why these two and not some other. The fulfillment of law as prophesied.

AH_C on March 16, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Thanks Ed. This is not just a Catholic practice. Haven’t been to Aikido practice this whole past winter because. . . it’s been a doozie of a winter. I do miss the stillness practice while moving about. We practice silently, focusing on what we’re doing, without distraction. Too much in these days we have to have something else going on be it the radio or tv in the background or whatever.

rbj on March 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM

It’s wonderful, and a thing to celebrate — but it’s small compared to the miracle of a person crossing from death into life. The life of every one of God’s people begins with the greatest miracle possible — the springing of a trap that was utterly impossible to spring.

Axe on March 16, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Oh, I don’t disagree with that at all He is everything, and I’m just…well, perhaps a vessel by which a few seeds are sown for the Holy Spirit to reap in someone else’s life. That in itself would be a blessing of hope fulfilled.

But your words, of crossing from death into life….it was that way for me, spiritually A gift beyond any I ever deserved or could ask for.

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 12:52 PM

I like it. It’s a great way to start the day.

It’s almost as good as the invocation at Bristol Speedway is going to be!

Seriously,, I’m glad you started doing this. I’m a Religeous ignoramus, but willing to learn what I can.

wolly4321 on March 16, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Is there a site that you use to obtain this kind of historical information? Or maybe books?

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM

I don’t know if it’s been mentioned by workingclass artist, but God spoke to both Moses and Elijah on Mt Sinai in their day. As far as I recall, God spoke to no others in that fashion.

Kraken on March 16, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Davidk beat me to it. Was going to say “Ed, please place it to the left, at every posting time, because it’s Sunday, and for so much more”.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

“Forgiving and being forgiven are two names for the same thing. The important thing is that a discord has been resolved.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2014 at 1:20 PM

I’m a terrible Catholic. I don’t read the Bible often enough and was confused by why Peter mentioned Moses and Elijah.

Annie21LA on March 16, 2014 at 9:58 AM

.
Me too. I like having someone else explain things.

scalleywag on March 16, 2014 at 10:21 AM

.
The Holy Spirit/Ghost is “someone”.

listens2glenn on March 16, 2014 at 1:29 PM

I find myself being distracted by the impulse to do whenever I draw closer to the Holy Spirit, rather than just be, and experience that closeness and love.

Doing for the Lord and being for the Lord are two sides of the same coin.

unclesmrgol on March 16, 2014 at 1:42 PM

I would encourage you to put this to the left side regardless of comment count and as a regular practice. There is a lot to digest, and putting it under TOP PICKS would give more time to reflect on it.

davidk on March 16, 2014 at 12:01 PM

.
You know … why not? Moved over now. Feel free to offer feedback on that practice in the comments, though.

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

.
That’s just great . . . . . you’ve moved the “Sunday reflection” to the front page, and then as if that weren’t enough you go putting in the LEFT COLUMN.

You’re gonna drive our ‘atheist trolls plum outta’ their collective minds. They’ll scream, holler, jump up ‘n’ down, wave their arms wildly, type nasty notes to us, and any other thing they can think of.

I hope you’re pleased with yourselves . . . . . . . . . I know God is . . . : )

listens2glenn on March 16, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Is there a site that you use to obtain this kind of historical information? Or maybe books?

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM

There are sites and books that document the history of the ancient pilgrimage routes (Most early ones follow the apostolic journeys) and later ones follow the miracles of certain patron saints….They all lead to two major destinations along the pilgrim’s route.

These pilgrim’s routes reached their height of popularity during the middle ages and the Crusades but most predate that era according to tradition.

The Vatican site has lists/links of these early shrines and churches.

Jerusalem and Rome.

The Itinerarium Burdigalense (“Bordeaux Itinerary”) — also known as the Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum (“Jerusalem Itinerary”) — is the oldest known Christian itinerarium. It was written by the “Pilgrim of Bordeaux”, an anonymous pilgrim from Burdigala (present-day Bordeaux, France). It recounts the writer’s journey to the Holy Land in the years 333 and 334 as he traveled by land through northern Italy and the Danube valley to Constantinople, then through Asia Minor and Syria to Jerusalem, and then back by way of Macedonia, Otranto, Rome, and Milan.

Here’s the wiki link to the pilgrim’s route
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_pilgrimage

Most of the early churches were built on sites/shrines that were preserved in memory burial sites of biblical patriarches, important sites described in the bible, the sites of Christ’s life,his mother,St. John the Baptist,and those of his apostles and disciples and martyrdom of saints.

St. Peter’s is built over the martyrdom and burial site of St. Peter, his sepulcher is underneath the great bronze altar in the catacombs. St. Paul’s is built over his site of martyrdom and burial and his sepulcher can be viewed under the altar.

One famous pilgrim’s route is the Santiago de Compostela (Way of St. James) in Spain.

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Thank you Ed and thank you working class artist for the background info. I appreciate and enjoy these posts.

Annie21LA on March 16, 2014 at 1:56 PM

I am praying lurkers and those not registered are being edified by these reflections…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 1:59 PM

I enjoy this feature not only for your reflections, Ed, but for many of the thoughtful comments. One more reason why HotAir is a special place. Thank you.

Blaise on March 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM

+1,000!

Thank you for these reflections, Ed. As much as possible, I try to pay attention at Mass, but at times my attention wanders, and this brings me back again to ponder the readings.

And the insights of all those here are inspirational as well.

PatriotGal2257 on March 16, 2014 at 2:04 PM

I hate to get political in this thread, but Liberals, it seems to me, have managed to create such a negative stigma about being Christian, that I sense a lot of recoil on the part of Christians. Weird times we live in.

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 12:38 PM

The bible foretold it:

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you… If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you… because they do not know Him who sent Me.” John 15:18-21

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven….” Matthew 5:10-12

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 2:22 PM

I am praying lurkers and those not registered are being edified by these reflections…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 1:59 PM

I would ask all here to pray for my mentor and “second father” Mr Jackie Gaughan who passed away on Wednesday. One of the finest human beings to ever live on this planet. He will be laid to rest in Omaha by the way.

VegasRick on March 16, 2014 at 2:24 PM

I’ve followed Ed since the Captain’s Quarters days, and hotair.com is my opening page when I power up the browser every morning.

One of the things that’s kept me around has been the high quality of the arguments found on this website. Issues get covered with intelligence and fairness, qualities in short supply on political blogs generally.

I trade emails with a lot of friends and acquaintances, some of whom are secular progressives, and I’ve never hesitated to send them to hotair.com to see a political argument they would not likely encounter otherwise.

I will not be comfortable doing that now. I think that for tactical and strategic reasons, this Christian material, fine as it may be for believers, should appear on a separate website. I see nothing to be gained by this front-page co-mingling of religion with politics, but a good deal to be lost, especially among those who could most benefit from the high standard of political argument to be found here.

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 2:33 PM

WhatSlushfund

Read “Killing Jesus” by Bill O’Reilly. Its a great way to figure out the context of what Jesus and his disciples were talking about. Plus, its a great read! Very inspiring.

LASue on March 16, 2014 at 2:34 PM

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Thank you! Any sources of info (especially ones that include pictures) are appreciated. I don’t even know where to start in this type of study

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 2:33 PM

This is not just a political blog.

It covers “Politics, Culture, Media, … from a conservative viewpoint.”

davidk on March 16, 2014 at 2:42 PM

I would ask all here to pray for my mentor and “second father” Mr Jackie Gaughan who passed away on Wednesday. One of the finest human beings to ever live on this planet. He will be laid to rest in Omaha by the way.

VegasRick on March 16, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Pie Jesu (Faure)

Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem. (×2) Pious Lord Jesu,
Give them rest.
Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem sempiternam. Pious Lord Jesu,
Give them everlasting rest.

A soloist from Winchester Cathedral sings Pie Jesu from the Requiem of Gabriel Faure. It is taken from a television broadcast of 1980. The soloist is Dominic Harvey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6ePmrZDTfw

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Reply to davidk

It doesn’t say “from a Christian viewpoint.”

Is that what it’s becoming? Because if it is, or if that is the impression given, then you can kiss a lot of libertarian readers good-bye.

Separation of church and state was a good idea, and it goes for politics and political discussion generally.

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Those are interesting verses. The first time I’ve read them. As I said up-page, I’ve never read the Bible before. But it’s weird how even though I’ve never read those until you posted them, they are values that I have lived by, or at least tried to live by.

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Ed…

I laughed so hard at the “old joke” you shared.

March 7th I went to a Church in Orange County California as a Catechumen for the rite of election. The Bishop was present. Afterwards, my parish group had our group picture taken with the Bishop. I went up to the Bishop to shake his hand as I have been praying for him for the last year or so.

I looked into his eyes and I saw the love and compassion of Christ. I was astounded. It was a moment that will forever live in my memory. But the Bishop saw my look and seemed a little startled. My eyes were tearing up at the importance of the moment.

I happened to have in my left hand my rosary. I had it just because.

The Bishop got busy and blessed my rosary without me asking.

There are moments in our lives that we are blessed with the presence of Christ. We just have to pay attention and savor the moment.

Thanks Ed! Oh, and I shared your joke in dismissal this morning. It was a big hit!

Yours in Christ,
Michael

Michael Harlin on March 16, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Many secularists seem to struggle with the part that religion plays in modern day society.

I think it’s a fascinating topic. Our nation is facing some tough times ahead, and it will be those of strong character who will lead the way through those tough times. Our secular society in America doesn’t put much emphasis on character development. The religious society in America does do so, although it is not as prevalent as it has been in times past.

Moral standards and the character traits that individuals develop do matter, much more so that we’re inclined to consider these days. Religion does play a positive role in society in that regards.

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Give them everlasting rest.

A soloist from Winchester Cathedral sings Pie Jesu from the Requiem of Gabriel Faure. It is taken from a television broadcast of 1980. The soloist is Dominic Harvey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6ePmrZDTfw

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Thank you.

VegasRick on March 16, 2014 at 2:55 PM

I will not be comfortable doing that now. I think that for tactical and strategic reasons, this Christian material, fine as it may be for believers, should appear on a separate website. I see nothing to be gained by this front-page co-mingling of religion with politics, but a good deal to be lost, especially among those who could most benefit from the high standard of political argument to be found here.

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 2:33 PM

The discussion of politics…culture and history is incomplete when ignoring how religion plays into events.

Orthodox priests facing down the military in Kyev would be one example…Islamists purging whole regions of christians would be another.

Of course that’s just my opinion…

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 2:48 PM

I guess I don’t really understand the objection. Allahpundit writes about atheism here at Hot Air, and yet that doesn’t keep me and plenty of other Christians from appreciating his take on politics. He writes about The Walking Dead and I do movie reviews and make (really bad) NFL predictions with Jazz, but people still seem to enjoy our political analysis. I’m not sure why occasional posts about religion (or irreligion in AP’s case) would suddenly make our libertarian readers freak out, especially since those posts don’t actually discuss politics much, if it all.

The separation of church and state is meant for government, not for the people, and was intended to keep the government from imposing an official church on its citizens. I’m in complete support of those principles. I’m just also discussing faith with my friends and readers. Is it so offensive to do that, and so difficult for those who are not interested to simply not click on those posts? If so, it’s remarkably intolerant, and pretty sad.

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 2:57 PM

I would ask all here to pray for my mentor and “second father” Mr Jackie Gaughan who passed away on Wednesday. One of the finest human beings to ever live on this planet. He will be laid to rest in Omaha by the way.

VegasRick on March 16, 2014 at 2:24 PM

So sorry for your loss. Prayers of comfort for you and Mr. Gaughan’s family going up.

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Reply to lineholder

I agree with everything you wrote.

But promoting religion needs to be done on a forum dedicated to that purpose.

Doing it here will preach to the choir and alienate a great many others. That does not seem to me a sensible strategy.

All I’m saying is do it somewhere else.

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Separation of church and state was a good idea, and it goes for politics and political discussion generally.

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Tolerance, chap, tolerance!

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Is it so offensive to do that, and so difficult for those who are not interested to simply not click on those posts? If so, it’s remarkably intolerant, and pretty sad.

Ed Morrissey on March 16, 2014 at 2:57 PM

One posters opinion. I love what you do here at HA, even though you usually pick against mt beloved Dolphins LOL!

VegasRick on March 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

So sorry for your loss. Prayers of comfort for you and Mr. Gaughan’s family going up.

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Thank you so much!

VegasRick on March 16, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Doing it here will preach to the choir and alienate a great many others. That does not seem to me a sensible strategy.

All I’m saying is do it somewhere else.

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Byron, ignore the thread.

Your rants are anti-liberal, in the classical sense.

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Thank you.

VegasRick on March 16, 2014 at 2:55 PM

I find the requiem mass to be very comforting when going through grief…I feel sorrow for your loss. A Great Teacher and Mentor is a magnificent thing.

On All Soul’s Day I go to our little church where they perform Mozart’s Requiem…Quite the feeling on both All Soul’s Day and All Saint’s Day.

If you ever get the chance to wander into church during a performance of Mozart’s Requiem on All Soul’s Day…Take it.

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Doing it here will preach to the choir and alienate a great many others. That does not seem to me a sensible strategy.

All I’m saying is do it somewhere else.

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

For those who can see nothing in it other than offense, that’s probably true.

But for those who may not necessarily see the positive role that religion does play in society or how it effects the decisions made by people of faith, even in the realm of politics, it could be a chance to open doors for conversation that might alleviate some of the anti-religion sentiment that exist in our society at the present time.

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 3:07 PM

All I’m saying is do it somewhere else.

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

All I’m saying is:

1. Ignore thread, or

2. Go somewhere else.

If you are a leftist, you’re another symbol of intolerance for our times.

If you are a rightie, you’re a worse symbol of our times.

The founding fathers laugh at you.

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Separation of church and state was a good idea, and it goes for politics and political discussion generally.

Byron on March 16, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Tolerance, chap, tolerance!

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

No. I think that it is a stroke of genius to have in the US Constitution a separation of church and state. It’s simply efficient. But in everyday discourse, you can’t separate politics from religion. I’m not even Christian, but the US is a Christian country. If we lose that, we lose everything.

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

You don’t want to read about Religion, don’t click on a post about it. Easy.

I don’t click on the walking dead threads. I don’t have cable TV.

I find it odd that libertarians wouldn’t get this. Yet here they are trying to silence a voice in the public square.

wolly4321 on March 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

If we lose that, we lose everything.

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

May I ask why this is your opinion? I agree with it, wholeheartedly. Just wondering how you came to that conclusion

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 3:13 PM

No. I think that it is a stroke of genius to have in the US Constitution a separation of church and state. WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Please cite such. It doesn’t exist.

wolly4321 on March 16, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Thank you! Any sources of info (especially ones that include pictures) are appreciated. I don’t even know where to start in this type of study

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 2:41 PM

There are many approaches to biblical study. It’s pretty interesting to browse through at a big bookstore.

There are the great theologians

There are the evangelists and apologists

There are the historical scholars.

Enjoy yourself and remember each denomination often has a different bible that reflects their liturgy.

For example there are books in the Catholic Canon that aren’t included in either the King James or the Torah.

Many people enjoy the King James because the language is poetic.

The point is…enjoy the adventure…

: )

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Condolences on your loss, VegasRick.

The influence shows.

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2014 at 3:15 PM

“Pie Jesu”
Pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Sempiternam
Sempiternam
Requiem

“Pie Jesu”
Merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus
Father, who takes away the sins of the world
Grant them rest, grant them rest
Merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus
Father, who takes away the sins of the world
Grant them rest, grant them rest
Lamb of God, Lamb of God, Lamb of God, Lamb of God
Father, who takes away the sins of the world
Grant them rest, grant them rest
everlasting
everlasting
Rest

davidk on March 16, 2014 at 3:15 PM

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

I agreed with you, before you even wrote that :)

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2014 at 3:16 PM

If you ever get the chance to wander into church during a performance of Mozart’s Requiem on All Soul’s Day…Take it.

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

I will.

VegasRick on March 16, 2014 at 3:17 PM

How do Libertarians/libertarians even call themselves that, with intolerance greater than that of leftists’?

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2014 at 3:17 PM

I am praying lurkers and those not registered are being edified by these reflections…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Keep praying OC. You and Ed have snared one so far… me. More to follow. : )

31giddyup on March 16, 2014 at 3:18 PM

I’m a terrible Catholic. I don’t read the Bible often enough and was confused by why Peter mentioned Moses and Elijah.

Annie21LA on March 16, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Me too. I like having someone else explain things.

scalleywag on March 16, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Moses was the giver of the law to the Hebrews. God actually gave the Law of course, but it is so closely associated with Moses, it is called the ‘Law of Moses’. Moses alone went up on Sinai to receive the Law.

Elijah is considered one of the greatest prophets, if not the greatest in the Old Testament.

I believe God is showing Peter and the other disciples this scene with Jesus, Moses, and Elijah to help prepare them all for their mission to spread the Gospel to all the world. God’s voice saying ‘Listen to HIM!’ makes it clear that Jesus role and authority is above that of Moses and Elijah.

When Peter later receives the vision that prompts him to go to the house of Cornelius and baptise the first Gentiles into the Church, the command of Christ to ‘teach the gospel to all nations’ forced him to reconsider all his upbringing about keeping Gentiles at arms-length because they were considered ‘unclean’.

God through Christ took away that barrier, and Christ commanded a change in that relationship that had formerly existed between Jews and Gentiles. If Peter had given Moses’ and Elijah’s commands more weight than Jesus’, then he would not have gone into the house of a Gentile to participate in the conversion of the first Gentile Christians.

So I see this as one of many lessons God brings to Peter and the others who would become the Apostles. I’ve probably only touched the surface of the many levels of meaning that could be garnered from the Transfiguration story, but I think at its root it is simply one of the ways God chose to create a ‘teachable moment’ for those disciples, and for us.

s1im on March 16, 2014 at 3:18 PM

If we lose that, we lose everything.

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

May I ask why this is your opinion? I agree with it, wholeheartedly. Just wondering how you came to that conclusion

lineholder on March 16, 2014 at 3:13 PM

The ideas upon which the US was founded were rooted in Christian theology. The whole Enlightenment, upon which the US was founded, were rooted in Christian theology.

WhatSlushfund on March 16, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Condolences on your loss, VegasRick.

The influence shows.

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Thank you. He really is the best. Loved by all.

VegasRick on March 16, 2014 at 3:22 PM

If you ever get the chance to wander into church during a performance of Mozart’s Requiem on All Soul’s Day…Take it.

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

I will.

VegasRick on March 16, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Best done on both observances if you can….they are back to back.

The Requiem is solemn and beautiful…The Joy of the Communion of Saints on All Saints Day will lift your spirit.

Most churches will take the name of whom you want prayed for on All Soul’s Day…there are even websites that allow name entries.

These prayers are offered up one day a year from all over the world…Quite a powerful and comforting thing…imho.

workingclass artist on March 16, 2014 at 3:23 PM

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