Monday, February 25, 2013

Transfiguration through Self-giving

On Sunday, 24 February at the Cathedral of the Mother of the Divine Shepherd, Mendi the church received a new deacon through the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the imposition of hands.  Pictured above are Deacon Eric Ankamah, SVD, Deacon Harry Mawoi - the new deacon, the happy bishop and Deacon Isaiah Timba.  It was a beautiful Lenten liturgy incorporating the rich traditions of the people of Papua New Guinea.

The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent is the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus - when he took Peter, James and John up a high mountain and was transfigured in their sight.  He allowed them a glimpse of his heavenly glory - to strengthen them for the coming scandal of the cross.

In my homily I said that we are all called to share the transfigured glory of Christ in heaven... and that the process of our own transfiguration begins with our Baptism where we enter into the mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus as adopted sons and daughters of God.  This process of transfiguration continues in us in many ways, but especially when we follow in the footsteps of the Transfigured One - Jesus - through a life of self-giving.

Peter wanted to build three booths and stay on the Mount of the Transfiguration for ever.  But Jesus knew that in order to be able to share his glory with all of us for ever... that there was another mountain he had to climb - Mount Calvary.  Through this total act of self-giving love, Jesus passed from death to the ever-lasting transfigured glory of heaven.

This Lenten season helps us to remember that our path to transfiguration is on the same road... the road of self-giving love.

Congratulations Deacon Harry!  May your new ministry help us all walk this way of self-giving love following the footsteps of Jesus.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Birthday Mother Trinidad

Today, 10 February 2013 is the birthday of Mother Trinidad de la Santa Madre Iglesia.  I have not written much about Madre Trinidad before, but I did want to take the opportunity of her birthday to ask you for your prayers for this holy woman wholly dedicated to God and the Church.  Mother Trinidad is from Seville, Spain but has spent many years in Rocca di Papa, close to Rome - so that she could be closer to the Holy Father.  Mother Trinidad is the foundress of The Work of the Church - an Ecclesial Institution of Pontifical Right - recognized and approved by the authority of the Pope.

Recently, I had the singular grace of visiting Seville, Spain and the birthplace of Mother Trinidad... and in a very real way, the birthplace of the Work of the Church.  At that time, I received the medal of the Work of the Church from the hands of Don Francisco Javier, minister general of the priests of the Work of the Church.  (There are also consecrated men and women, together with lay men and women who make up the growing family of the Work of the Church.)  It was an unspeakable joy to become more closely associated with this wonderful family which continues to be guided and inspired by the life, witness, testimony, suffering and example of Mother Trinidad.

As a fruit of her intimate commuion with God, Mother Trinidad has published many works in various areas of theology and spirituality.  I have been very inspired in the way that the members of the Work of the Church live joyful, holy lives in the heart of the Church.  They reflect the beauty and profound mystery of the Church, that oftentimes can be lost in our contemporary times.

After the solemn mass in the chapel that has been constructed in what was before the family home of Mother Trinidad, members of the Work of the Church adjourned to a small auditorium where various members gave testimony of their experience of the Work of the Church.  In between the speeches, the children presented some traditional Andalusian song and dance.  It was an evening filled with goodness and joy.

So, today, 10 February 2013, I ask you to join me in wishing a very Happy Birthday to Mother Trinidad de la Santa Madre Iglesia - and to continue to remember her and all the members of the Work of the Church in your prayers.

In all of her messages, especially in these latter years, Mother Trinidad invites all people to remember to give Glory to God - because that is all that really matters!  The last photo is of the tabernacle in the chapel and a beautiful sculpture depicting the Holy Trinity.  Giving Glory to God fulfills our reason for being in this world and will lead us surely to the life to come.