Saturday, August 5, 2017


A while back, though it seems like yesterday, I spoke with children and parents in our Family Faith Formation program, regarding today's gospel passage about the Transfiguration of Jesus. I asked the children, What happened to Jesus in the gospel today?

Lots of little hands shot up. I called on one who answered, Jesus was changed. So I asked, Was he no longer Jesus?

They said, Yes, but he shone like the sun...and his clothes were like a bright light.

Someone else said, God spoke to him.

Let’s see, I said, Jesus was the same…and yet different. And God spoke to him.

Could that be true of us also? The kids were hesitant. So I asked, Do we know of anyone else who is the same, and yet different?

After waiting a bit, I gave them a clue…l unbuttoned my shirt to show a Superman T-shirt underneath. Both kids and parents burst out laughing. 

Then I asked, What do we know about Superman? Once more the children were quick to answer: He came from somewhere else. He was very powerful.

A little girl yelled, He was both Clark Kent and Superman …and he had a job to dofight evil.

I thanked her, and added, Jesus also had special powers because he came from another place, and he, too, came to fight evil.

And I asked, Do you believe we came from another place? Once again, without waiting to be called on, several children yelled, Yes, we came from God.

Well then, I asked, do you believe we have special powers? Do we have the power to make people feel better?

And I shared the following story: A mother told her son, Johnny, I need you to come home immediately after school today because I have some very important things to do. Johnny was a very obedient and loving eight-year old, and said he would.

Three o’clock came and went but Johnny was nowhere to be seen. Thirty minutes later, still no sign of Johnny, so Mom called the school and was informed that Johnny had left as usual when school ended. At four, Mom was getting angry and worried. She called some of the moms of Johnny’s friends and learned that Johnny had walked from school with Susie. When five o’clock came and Johnny was still not home, Mom was livid.

Finally, Johnny arrived, and Mom yells, Where have you been? I told you I needed you home immediately after school. Johnny explained that he noticed Susie was sad because her dog had died, so he walked her home. Now Mom is feeling kinder and not a little proud of her son. She asked, What did you say to her?

Johnny said, I didn’t know what to say. She sat on the porch and cried, so I did too.

Fighting evil is not about performing great miracles, but about being aware of someone who is hurting and being moved with compassion to help them...and we will amaze ourselves at the results. As St. Francis of Assisi said, Start by doing what is necessary, then do what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. 

That’s how we become like Jesus. The transfiguration is about radiating the truth of our children of God. In a way, we are like Superman! Though at times we may limit ourselves, choosing to act only like Clark Kent.

And we actually do have an “S” within us...within our heart, waiting to be discovered. It doesn’t stand for Superman or Superwoman, but Saint. Saints are those who let the bright light of Christ shine through them. 

The more we become aware of the needs of others and respond with love, the more we not only believe that we came from God and have the power to help others, but the more we also discover this radiant, holy presence in us.

And maybe we, too, will hear God say to us, You are my beloved child. I would bet on it.

1 comment:

  1. I Loved this post. I know I have at least two S's within. One for sinner the other for saint. In both cases they represent my powerful need for Jesus and his light to penetrate the depths of who and what I am.