Life's Joys Are Not the Goal, Says Pope

Calls Them Lights on Earthly Pilgrimage

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2010 ( The joys of life are not the final goal, but rather lights on the path to an eternal destination, says Benedict XVI.

This was the conclusion the Pope came to at the end of a reflection today on the Transfiguration, which he called an «extraordinary event» that is «an encouragement in following Jesus.»

Before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, he noted that the three disciples who witness the Transfiguration were asleep: «It is the attitude of those who, although spectators of divine prodigies, do not understand them. Only the struggle against the torpor that assails them allows Peter, James and John to ‘see’ Jesus’ glory.»

«As Moses and Elijah depart from Jesus,» the Holy Father said recounting the Gospel account, «Peter speaks, and while he is speaking, a cloud covers him and the other disciples with its shadow; it is a cloud that, although it conceals also reveals God’s glory, as happened for the people of Israel on pilgrimage through the desert.»

«The eyes can no longer see,» he added, «but the ears can hear the voice that comes from the cloud: ‘This is my Son, my chosen one; listen to him!'»

Benedict XVI explained that suddenly, «the disciples are no longer before a transfigured face, nor before a dazzling garment, nor a cloud that reveals the divine presence. Before their eyes there is ‘only Jesus.’

«Jesus is alone before his Father as he prays, but at the same time, Jesus is everything that is given to the disciples of all times: It is what must suffice on the journey.

«He is the only voice to listen to, the only one to follow, he who, going up to Jerusalem, will give his life and one day ‘will transfigure our miserable body to conform it to his glorious body.'»

«The Transfiguration reminds us that the joys sown by God in our life are not the destination,» reflected the Holy Father, «but they are lights that he gives us on the earthly pilgrimage, so that ‘only Jesus’ is our Law and his Word the criterion that guides our existence.»

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