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Angelus Address: On the Transfiguration of Christ

Jesus’ Transfiguration Is An Anticipated Paschal Apparition

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VATICAN CITY, FEBRUARY 25, 2018 ( Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
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Before the Angelus
 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Today’s Gospel, second Sunday of Lent, invites us to contemplate the Transfiguration of Christ (Cf. Mark 9:2-10). This episode is linked to what happened six days before when Jesus revealed to His disciples that at Jerusalem He would “suffer much and be rejected by the Elders, the Heads of the priests and scribes, be killed and, after three days, resurrect” (Mark 8:31). This announcement put Peter and the whole group of the disciples in crisis, who rejected the idea that Jesus would be rejected by the leaders of the people and then killed. They, in fact, awaited a powerful, strong, dominating Messiah, instead, Jesus presents Himself as the meek, as the humble Servant of God and Servant of men, who must give His life in sacrifice, passing through the way of persecution, of suffering and of death. However, how could one follow a Master and Messiah, whose earthly fortune would end in such a way? The answer comes, in fact, from the Transfiguration. What is Jesus’ Transfiguration? It’s an anticipated paschal apparition.
Jesus took with Him three disciples: Peter, James and John and “led them up a high mountain “ (Mark 9:2); and there He showed them His glory for a moment, the glory of the Son of God. So this event of the Transfiguration enables the disciples to face the Passion of Jesus in a positive way, without being overwhelmed. And Jesus thus prepares them for the test. The Transfiguration helps the disciples, and also us, to understand that Christ’s Passion is a mystery of suffering, but it’s especially a gift of infinite love on Jesus’ part. The event of Jesus, who is transfigured on the mountain, makes us also understand better His Resurrection. To understand the mystery of the cross it’s necessary to know in anticipation that He that that suffers and is glorified is not only a man but the Son of God, who has saved us, with His faithful love to death. Thus the Father renews His Messianic declaration on the Son, already made on the banks of the Jordan after the Baptism, and He exhorts: “listen to Him!” (v. 7). The disciples are called to follow the Master with confidence and hope, despite His death; Jesus’ divinity must manifest itself precisely on the cross, precisely in His dying “in that way,” so much so that the evangelist Mark puts on the centurion’s mouth the profession of faith: “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (15:39).
We now turn in prayer to the Virgin Mary, the human creature transfigured interiorly by the grace of Christ. We entrust ourselves confidentially to her maternal help, to continue the Lenten journey with faith and generosity.
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus
 Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In these days my thought often goes to beloved and martyred Syria, where the war has intensified, especially in eastern Ghouta. This month of February has been one of the most violent in seven years of conflict: hundreds, thousands of civilian victims, children, women and elderly. Hospitals have been hit; people can’t procure for themselves <something> to eat . . .  Brothers and sisters, all this is inhuman. Evil can’t be combated with another evil, and war is an evil.  Therefore, I make my heartfelt appeal for violence to cease immediately, for access to be given to humanitarian aid – food and medicine – and for the wounded and sick to be evacuated. Let us pray together to God for this to happen immediately.
[Pause of silence] Hail Mary . . .
A warm greeting goes to all of you, pilgrims of Rome, of Italy and of different countries, particularly those who have come from Spis in Slovakia.
I greet the representatives of the diocesan television station of Prato with their Bishop, the young people of the orchestra of Oppido Mamertina and the scouts of Genoa. I greet the Confirmation candidates and the youngsters of the profession of faith from Serravalle, Scrivia, Verdellino, Zingonia, Lodi, Renate and Verduggio.
I greet the group that has come on the occasion of the “Day for Rare Diseases,” with encouragement to the Associations that work in this field. Thank you. Thank you for what you do.
I wish you all a happy Sunday. Don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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Virginia Forrester

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