Thank you to all who make this radio broadcast possible from this February 28th, II Sunday of Lent. Today, in every Catholic church in the world, the Gospel of Mark, chapter 9, verses 2 to 10 read
Jesus climbs a high mountain, before Abraham has climbed obeying God’s difficult request and returns full of peace and with the promise of having a offspring like the stars of heaven and the sands of the beaches. Moses also climbs the mountain to listen to God, the Covenant of the Ten Commandments that God himself wanted to establish with his people. Moses climbs the mountain to see the glory of God and returns with a radiant face for having spoken to his God. Climb the prophet Elijah to Mount Horeb or Sinai, where four centuries earlier God showed Himself to Moses; Elijah rises persecuted for his faithfulness to God and felt the prophet pass his God.
They go up to Mount Tabor, Jesus, Peter, James, and John, and there, God the Father manifested the glory of his Son through transfiguration and asked us all to listen to him. Before the transfiguration, Jesus had announced that he should suffer greatly and be rejected, condemned to death, but would be resurrected after three days. The apostles needed hope, a breath, a spirit. At the end of death there is a life, a splendor, a glory, a resurrection, a happiness in the House of Heaven.
We, in order to find strength, encouragement, on the path of life, in the face of failures, in the face of suffering, we must go up to a place where we can find God like Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Peter, James, and John. That place is personal, family, ecclesial prayer. Each of us needs to see God as Abraham, Moses, Elijah. We need to listen to the Son of God speaking to us. The Word is half of those who speak it and half of whom listens to it. Christ speaks to us in Sacred Scripture, in the Bible, in the New Testament, in the readings of Mass. Let’s listen, let’s pray, let’s act.
Father Odinei, after his missionary experience in the villages and tribes of the Amazon River, returned to his community of Jesus of Miramar. Everyone was eager to know details about the Amazon. But how could he put into words the feeling that had flooded his heart when he contemplated those flowers of overwhelming beauty and heard the night sounds of the jungle? How do you communicate how you felt in your heart when you realized the danger of the beasts or when you were driving your canoe through the uncertain waters of the river? And he said to his faithful, “Nothing can replace risk and personal experiences.” But, to guide them, he made him a map of the Amazon. They took the map, placed it in their homes, and made copies of it for each family member. And anyone who had a copy, considered himself an expert in the Amazon and taught Geography about this region. Did he not know, perhaps, everyone who had a map, the turn and lap of the river, and how wide and deep it was and where there were rapids, and where were the waterfalls?
Father Odinei regretted the map all his life. It had been preferable not to have. It is not the same to know a map, than to have the experience of sailing and evangelizing.
We give thanks for all St Teresas and all Saint Johns. But my fundamental experience of God is my own, mine, and unique. Pray, long ponder the Word God, and you will be an experienced person of God in the style of Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Peter, James, and John.
We need to go up to the house where we live and turn it into Mount Tabor, a place of light, love and hope. If husband, wife, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, in-laws, daughters-in-law and sons-in-law pray together, faces will be transfigured and serious faces, ironic and offensive words will run out. We will all wish to stay as long as possible in our home, on our mountain and say like Peter: “Let us make huts, shops, palaces, peaceful and quiet houses. And it’s good to be here.” Our house will become a temple of praise to God, a school of faith teaching and a place of charity in and out, and a great glow will shine. And we will speak Christlike.
For some word philologists it derives from the Hebrew roots “palá” and “bará”, which mean wonder and creation. Gathered like this, word means “wonder of creation”. The most productive words of man are those he says to praise his wife; the kind words are the music of the home, they have supernatural strength, they are melodies sung by angels present in the house. Kind words, they’re better than sweet words. The word peaceful can change people, neighborhoods, villages, churches, enemies.
God announces words to me for the new day, for the new path, for the new transfigured life. I got up early today thinking about what I had to do before the clock set in the morning. It was up to me the kind of day I wanted to have today, I could be sad that I had no money, or being motivated to manage my assets, I could complain about my health or give thanks for being alive. I could get mad at my parents because they didn’t give me everything I wanted, or be grateful to be born. I could protest having to go to work or be grateful to have a job. I might get bored with housework or be grateful to have a roof to live under. I could lament the friends who have abandoned me or get excited about the possibility of making new friends. If things didn’t go the way I thought about them, I might be happy because today gives me a chance to start over. The new day is inside me, waiting to be what I want it to be, and I’m here as the sculptor who wants to shape it. It is all up to me and my Father God; I’m his son.
God speaks to us in events and in people. Who is God? I’ve seen a mother by the crib. That’s why I know what love is. I looked into a child’s eyes. That’s why I know what faith is. I’ve observed the rainbow. That’s why I know what beauty is. I’ve felt the waves of the sea, so I know what power is. I’ve planted a tree, so I know what hope is. I’ve heard a wild bird sing, I’ve seen a caterpillar open up to life, so I know what mysteries are. I’ve lost a friend, that’s why I know what sadness is. I’ve fought and offended, that’s why I know what hell is. I’ve seen the sky full of stars, so I know what infinity is. I’ve seen and felt all these things, that’s why I know what God is.
Jesus Christ, transfigured and truly present in consecrated bread, is in the Sacrament. Whenever you can, climb mount sagrario. Tell your life to the Lord Jesus and listen to him. There is a very famous prayer entitled “Fifteen minutes before The Sacramentd Jesus”, if you don’t have it, ask for it on the phone 78624000. After praying it, your face will be transfigured and everyone will notice. You can say, “I live, but not I, it is Christ who lives in me.” We make a spiritual communion.
“My Jesus, I think you are present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I want to receive you in my soul. But not being able to do it sacramentally now, they see at least spiritually to my heart. I hug you and I’ll one of you. Don’t let him ever separate me from you.”
Transfigured by the Word of God and by the sweet words of our families and friendships, as children of God we turn to our Father who never abandons us.
(OUR FATHER’S PRAYER)
Under your protection we seek holy refuge Mother of God, welcome our pleas and free us from the coronavirus, Glorious and Blessed Virgin. Amen.
And the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, descend upon you and remain forever. Amen.
Below we offer in full the allocution of the Cardinal and Archbishop of Havana, Juan de la Caridad García.