St Joseph Church, Pinole - Pastor's Messages

Pastor's Messages from Father Geoffrey Baraan


   August 5/6, 2023

My dear friends in Christ,

I hope that you are all enjoying this wonderful summer! I couldn’t believe we are halfway through the year! WOW!

There is no question that the transfiguration of Jesus from the gospel of Matthew was a wonderful moment for Peter, James, and John. It was a moment in their life they will never forget. As Jesus was praying, his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. Soon he was joined by two men, Moses, and Elijah, who were great figures of the Old Testament. In that moment of transfiguration, the three disciples saw firsthand the glory of Jesus in which God’s love was revealed. Jesus was changed completely and overwhelmed by his Father’s love.

For Peter, James, and John, it was a “WOW” moment! It was a moment of peace and serenity. I am sure they were saying, “Let us stay here!” In fact, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good to be here! Let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah!” This was a great temptation for the three friends. They didn’t want to go anywhere. The mountain top experience was just too great to ignore.

In our life, there will be many wow moments that all of us will experience, and we don’t want to let go of them. Just like Peter, James, and John, we face the temptation of remaining in our mountain top experiences, in our many transfiguration moments. But we should have the courage to go down from our mountain top experiences and face the realities of suffering and death, to experience the real happiness guaranteed by the sacrifice and the joy of the cross.

Our Eucharistic celebration is a mountain top experience, a transfiguration moment. Every time we participate in this celebration, we have a glimpse of God’s glory and his love. Our tendency is to stay here and don’t want to go anywhere. We have found our comfort zone here! My friends, our Christian journey is to go beyond our comfort zone and take that moment of transfiguration to the ends of the earth. Yes, it is nice to be here! But we know that our Christian journey doesn’t end here in our Eucharistic celebration, it begins here. We must go with him to the cross to find true joy and fulfillment in our journey. One way of doing this is to embrace one of the three characters to holiness: almsgiving. Love of God is expressed by our love of neighbors. Have we become a source of joy for those we meet? Love as an action word means sharing our time, talents, and treasures with others. At the end, Peter, James, and John went down from the mountain top with Jesus to Jerusalem. At first, they wanted to experience the peace and the glory of Easter without taking the winding road to the cross.

In Christ’s love and peace,

Fr. Geoffrey

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