The Last Sunday of the Transfiguration

  • Posted on Feb 26, 2020

“This is my Son, the Beloved, with him I am well pleased.”  Matthew 17: 5

Last Friday evening and Saturday, a group of folks went to Alverno Retreat Center near Meyersdale, Pa. 

We went for a Pre-Lenten Retreat. 

To try to find our way back to God.

The theme of the retreat was “Seeking the Face of God.”

And, like the story of the Transfiguration, it was a time to discover once again that we each are beloved of God.


Margaret Silf is a writer skilled in Ignatian spirituality.

She says that we live our lives in three circles.

The largest circle—which encompasses the other two—is the Where of our lives.

Here is where we live most of our days.

The Where circle includes the things we can’t change about ourselves—or at least not very easily.

The Where circle includes our family, our origins, our state of health, our age, our culture and history.


But within the Where circle are two smaller circles.

The first smaller circle is the How circle.

The How circle is about the choices we make.

While we may not be able to change the circumstances of our lives—such as our family or work colleagues—we do have a choice about HOW we respond to them.


And the smallest circle of all—in the heart of both the Where and How circles of our lives—is the WHO circle.  The center.

Do we have the courage to go there?

It is who we are before God—where we take off our protective masks and allow ourselves to be known and LOVED just as we truly are.


At the Transfiguration, Jesus showed his WHO center to Peter, James and John on the mountaintop in a blinding moment of light and love.


It can be a frightening moment to face and know ourselves completely.

It may challenge our comfort zone.

But it is the most important journey we ever make.

To know we are beloved and share that belovedness with the world.


It’s much easier to forget.

To go back to our Where circle.

So we need LANDMARKS to remember our belovedness in God.


For many of us, particularly in times of transition, Emmanuel is our landmark.

As we unveiled the Stone and Light campaign this past Sunday, we are asking all of you to remember how Emmanuel has touched your lives.

At a child’s baptism, or at your wedding, or when we gather to celebrate the life of someone we love but see no longer.


Each generation of Emmanuelites has confirmed the importance of this holy place—with gifts of windows, altars and organ.

At some point, each generation is called to affirm the importance of this landmark as the way to find God and our belovedness once again.


And when we are called—the present generation—an important change happens.

We make the transition from disciple to apostle.

Just as Jesus was preparing the disciples on the mountain, we have been prepared to turn from one who listens and learns to the one who turns what is learned to what is being lived.

The torch and mantle are being passed in this time and place.


If you were not at Annual Meeting, watch for your packet in the mail inviting you to take the torch in our Stone and Light campaign.


It is a sacred task to care for a landmark which is the strong stone foundation of God’s love as well as the Light of God’s love to the world.


We have watched with steady courage those who came before us tend the flame.

It is now our task to receive in faith and love this holy responsibility that has been placed in our hands.


I invite you all to a Holy Lent as a community to bear the miracle of God’s love to this suffering world as the people of Emmanuel.

Return to God and the knowledge that you are beloved.  Then take that belovedness out into the world as healing light.


In Christ, Rev Martha

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