Let Us Be Transfigured by Following Christ, Pope Francis Says

In his March 1 Angelus address, the Holy Father said Christ’s glory is revealed because his ‘full adherence to the will of the Father makes his humanity transparent to the glory of God, who is Love.’

(photo: CNA)

VATICAN CITY — The Transfiguration reveals the glory of Christ and demands a response of listening to and following Jesus, Pope Francis said in his Sunday Angelus address on March 1.

In the readings from the First Week of Lent, the faithful were shown Christ victorious in the desert, after enduring temptation from the devil, a reminder of the victory over sin offered to everyone through Christ. On the Second Sunday of Lent, Jesus revealed the destination of the journey of conversion, which is “participation in the glory of Christ.”

The Transfiguration takes place as Christ is on his way to Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecies through his death on the cross. Jesus takes Peter, James and John away to a high mountain in order to reveal his glory in advance to them and to strengthen them in faith for what is to come — the way of the cross, Pope Francis said.

“The three disciples are frightened, while a cloud covers and rings out from above … the voice of the Father, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him’” (Mark 9:7), the Holy Father said.

Christ’s glory is revealed because his “full adherence to the will of the Father makes his humanity transparent to the glory of God, who is Love,” the Pope explained.

Moses and Elijah appear next to Christ at the Transfiguration to show he is the fulfillment of the Law and the prophets: that “everything begins and ends in Jesus.”

The invitation at the Transfiguration, for the disciples as well as for the faithful today, is to listen to Jesus and to follow him, laying down our lives as a gift of love for one another in obedience to the will of the Father, the Pope explained.

“The way of Jesus always leads us to happiness. Do not forget it!” Pope Francis said. “There will always be a cross in the middle, but at the end … (he) always leads us to happiness.” 

After the Angelus, Pope Francis asked the faithful present to keep praying for Christians in Iraq and Syria, who continue to be persecuted and killed by the radical Islamic State group. Francis said that he, along with other members of the Curia, offered the last Mass of their retreat last week for the Christians in the Middle East.

The Holy Father also offered prayers for victims of recent protests in Venezuela, particularly for the teenager killed last week in San Cristobal. The country has been undergoing an economic crisis, and related protests resulted in the deaths of 43 people last year. The Pope encouraged the entire country to respect life and to open up constructive dialogue to work for peace.

The Holy Father then greeted various groups present for the Angelus, including a group from San Francisco, seminarians from southern Italy who were on retreat and the fire department from Tassullo in northern Italy.