DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     August 6, 1998     vol. 9, no. 153

DAILY LITURGY

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

Thursday, August 6, 1998

      First Reading: Daniel 7: 9-10, 13-14
      Psalms: Psalm 97: 1-2, 5-6, 9
      Second Reading: 2 Peter 1: 16-19
      Gospel Reading: Luke 9: 28-36

FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD

          One of the manifestations of Jesus Christ's deity was the glorification of His appearance before His Resurrection. As the accounts of Matthew 17: 1-8; Mark 9: 1-8; and Luke 9: 28-36 describe while praying with His chosen Apostles Peter, James and John on the mountain, Jesus' "face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as snow." Then He was transfigured before them, and Moses and Elias or Elijah joined Him. The Apostles intuitively knew there was no need for fear as Peter remarked to his Master, "Lord, it is good for us to be here." It was truly prophetic for Peter showed his personality in this passage as he meandered on about erecting three altars to the three in the Transfiguration. It gives us a glimpse of the thinking behind the one who would be chosen to lead Christ's Church for Peter, along with the other two Apostles who heard the Father confirm Jesus' mission with the words, "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear Him." After that, as if in a trance, the Evangelists tell only that the three Apostles fell on their faces - so in awe of this vision that the next thing they knew Jesus Himself was touching them, the Transfiguration over, beckoning them to "Arise, and be not afraid." Jesus knew no one else would understand what had just transpired and so counseled the three to tell no one of this event until AFTER the Resurrection when they would clearly understand that "Truly He was the Son of God" (Matthew 27: 54). Jesus also felt it was important for them to witness this event in order that when they later would see Him suffer, it would sustain them in knowing that He was truly God and would rise. As we know it was these same three Apostles who accompanied Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemani where they showed their frailties by falling asleep. Also, it was the impulsive Peter who seemed to forget the Transfiguration vision while he cowered in the courtyard denying Our Lord. The etymology of Transfiguration is derived from the Latin trans which means "change" and figura meaning "figure" which Jesus did indeed do, His countenance changed before the Apostles' very eyes as did His figure which became very agile providing proof that a glorified body can move rapidly from one place to another like the speed of light or sound. This was confirmed in Luke 24: 31, 34, 36 when the Evangelist places Jesus on the road to Emmaus and then "vanished from their sight", then immediately he was inside the upper room "stood in their midst." The doors were locked, yet besides agility, Christ possessed "subtility" which allows a body to go where it pleases without any resistance to material matter. Thus He was able to pass through walls as light streams through glass.

Friday, August 7, 1998

      First Reading: Nahum 2: 1, 3; 3: 1-3, 6-7
      Psalms: Deuteronomy 32: 35-36, 39, 41
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 16: 24-28

FEAST OF SAINT SIXTUS II, POPE AND COMPANIONS

          Very little is known of Pope Saint Sixtus II. This Grecian-born pontiff, elected on August 30th, 257, was the twenty-fourth successor of Saint Peter. He possessed a meek disposition but was not afraid to settle the disputes that had arisen under his predecessors Pope Saint Cornelius, Pope Saint Lucius I, and Pope Saint Stephen I. It was Sixtus who effected the translation and identification of the mortal remains of St. Peter and Saint Paul. The Romans captured Sixtus while he was celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the catacombs and was immediately beheaded to discourage others. It had the opposite effect as Saint Cyprian wrote as he originated the exclamation now part of the Mass - "Deo Gratias". Many companions willingly joined Sixtus in martyrdom on August 6, 258. Sixtus' body was retrieved and given an appropriate burial with a church being built in his honor a century later after the liberation by Constantine. Another church was eventually built over the original one and early in the 13th Century it was given over to Saint Dominic who bequeathed it to his Order of Preachers. It gradually became a cloistered monastery for Dominican nuns. Today, known as the church of St. Dominic and St. Sixtus, it is located in the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.

FEAST OF SAINT CAJETAN, PRIEST AND RELIGIOUS FOUNDER

          Born twelve years before the discovery of America, Saint Cajetan would go on to be a staunch defender of the faith in the face of Martin Luther's attacks against the Church. This holy canon lawyer was appointed protonotary apostolic and secretary to Pope Julius II in 1505 twelve years before becoming a priest in 1517. Realizing the Church needed universal and radical reform as assessed by the Fifth Lateran Council, he stayed near the Vatican while bringing the order he had helped foster with John Peter Carafa. This was the Company of Divine Love which was founded by Saint Catherine of Genoa in that city, and dedicated to caring for the poor and infirm. Cajetan was instrumental in establishing a hospital in Rome and later one in Vicenza where he became the pastor of St. Mary's in 1520. Three years later he returned to Rome to found the Institute of Clerks Regular with the charge of preaching, administering the sacraments and celebrating the liturgy. They became known as the Theatines with their first Superior General being Bishop Carafa who sent St. Cajetan to fend against Lutheranism in Venice in 1536. Upon Carafa's death, St. Cajetan returned to Naples where he was elected the Order's Superior General. Over and over he strove to pacify the unrest in Naples and the worldliness of its inhabitants. Beaten down by the discord and apathy, he died in 1547 at the age of 67 before he could realize the fruits he had sown which would become evident at the Council of Trent.

August 6, 1998       volume 9, no. 153
LITURGY

DAILY CATHOLIC

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