Community Word: The glory of God transforms our lives
Order: “Listen to him.” (Mt 17:5b)
Our community word for the month is – The glory of God transforms our lives. Transformed lives begin with the message of God in the gospel of salvation that Christ gave us. The word of God is the power that renews and transforms our self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness. God tells us to “listen to him,” (Mt. 17: 5b) pointing to Jesus as His messenger and mouthpiece who leads us to behold God’s glory and gaze at the wonder of His power. Until we see Him face to face, it is our faith that brings us to continue believing in the gospel, living it in our everyday lives, and sharing it to many others.
During the month of August, let us ponder upon the Sunday and weekly bible readings that we may have a deeper understanding of God’s word and be steadfast in applying such knowledge in our day to day life.
On the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, the theme is – We are transformed as we listen to Him. God has chosen this event at Mt. Tabor to show humanity, through the personal experience of Peter, James and John, that He truly wants us to see and know the divinity of Jesus Christ, as the Son of God. It is a significant moment when man meets God, bridging earth and heaven. The sight was beyond awesome for Peter that he no longer wanted to leave the place. But seeing is not enough; God wants us to listen to Jesus and He gives us His word to guide us in our daily life. We are called to focus on Jesus and be faithful to all his teachings and his message of salvation. As we do and fulfil our mission, we will receive God’s promise this week: “…all peoples see His glory,” (Ps 97:6b).
Our theme for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time is – We are transformed as we set our eyes of faith on Jesus. Living in fear, anxiety and doubt are manifestations of how little our faith is. Lord, save me!” (Mt 14:30b) … is a cry of helplessness which shows that, indeed, we cannot save ourselves by our own power. It is only by reaching out to Jesus and holding his hand that we will feel safe and secure most especially in tough situations. If we pay attention to the stormy seas and rough waves of our hardships, we may sink into our hopelessness and desperation. We need to renew our strength by focusing on Christ alone. If we allow our steadfast faith to carry us through our burdens and our difficulties, then we will reap God’s promise this week: “The Lord will Himself give His benefits; our land shall yield its increase,” (Ps 85:13).
On the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, our theme is – We are transformed as we put our trust in the love and mercy of God. Without any doubt, God’s love is complete and His mercy endures forever. This is His nature. But the response rests on us if we want to be in God’s good graces. If we are humble and persistent in our prayers, God will pour out His blessings, just as Jesus richly blessed those who put their complete trust in the Lord. He calls us to embrace the gospel and to share its message to others by what we say and do. The more we share Christ with others, the deeper we will feel His love and mercy. That alone gives us the encouragement to be His effective disciples. With hope in our hearts, God will surely bless us with this week’s promise: “all who… hold my covenant… I will bring to my holy mountains,” (Isa 56:6b 7a).
Lastly, the theme for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary time is – We are transformed as we pray for and submit to those in authority. In this Sunday’s gospel, we are exhorted to reflect on our answer to Jesus’ question – “Who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16:15). When we come to know who Jesus is, we also discover who we are. Hopefully, in the process we too will become a “rock”, in the manner that Jesus gave authority to Peter, the “Rock” upon whom He built His Church. We become the church that Christ formed us to be, that our own identity is established in our relationship with Him. As we are united in the body of Christ, we also become instruments of unity for its members. In a world that grows divided and is drifting from the Truth, we need to recognize Christ’s anointed authority to keep His people anchored in Him in any kind of storm, believing in His direction and promise: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19b).
Lord God, thank you for leading us to your Son Jesus by instructing us to listen to Him. We believe that our journey to transformation and wholeness starts only when we recognize Him as the Christ, our loving Redeemer whom you sent to save us from sin and death. As we encounter uncertainties and doubts in life, strengthen our faith that we may always put our complete trust in your goodness and mercy. Amen.