BishopBarron|天主统治所有混乱力量2017-08-09 10:14:53 阅读量:2083
夜间四更时分，也就是说夜里最黑暗的时刻，耶稣在海上步行而来。这是对他的神性作出肯定：正如起初天主的神在水上运行一样，如今耶稣在水上行走。所以，他对惊慌失措的门徒说：“放心！是我。不必害怕！” 但这还不够：你们可以分享我的神力。“伯多禄遂从船上下来，走在水面上，往耶稣那里去。” 这就是所有圣人共有的经历。
Friends, our Gospel today is the story of Jesus walking on the water. Water is, throughout the Scriptures, a symbol of danger. At the very beginning, the spirit of the Lord hovered over the surface of the waters. This signals God's lordship over all of the powers of disorder.
In all four Gospels there is a version of this story of Jesus mastering the waves. The boat, with Peter and the other disciples, is evocative of the Church. It moves through the waters, and the Church will move through time. Storms—chaos, corruption, stupidity, danger, persecution—will inevitably arise.
Now during the fourth watch of the night, which is to say the darkest time of the night, Jesus comes walking on the sea. This is meant to be an affirmation of his divinity: just as the spirit of God hovered over the waters at the beginning, so Jesus hovers over them now. So he says to his terrified disciples: "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." But even more than that: you can participate in my power. "Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus." This is the story of all the saints.
Friends, our Gospel today tells about the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus instructs the crowd to recline, and they do so on the grass. Taking the loaves and dried fish, Jesus makes a meal that satisfies the enormous crowd. They are hungry, tired, worn out from their exertions, and Jesus gives them sustenance for the day.
For Thomas Aquinas, the great metaphor for the Eucharist is sustenance, food for the journey. The Eucharist is daily food, sustenance for the journey, nourishment to get us through the day to day. How effective would we be if we never ate, or ate only on special occasions and in a festive environment? Not very. So, in the spiritual life, we must eat and drink or we will not have strength.
Is this just meant in some vague symbolic way? No, rather in a vividly analogical way. For just as the body needs physical nourishment, the spirit needs spiritual nourishment and there is no getting around this law.
Now think of how many Catholics are absent from the Mass and the Eucharist and Confession or even daily prayer. This spiritual malnourishment is the number one problem facing our Church.
Friends, today we celebrate the Transfiguration of Lord. I would like to place this event and story within their clearly Jewish and Biblical framework. The transfiguration takes place on a mountain, and this immediately places it in relation to the Old Testament. The law is given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, and Elijah challenges the priests of Baal on Mt. Carmel. Mountains are places of encounter with God.
So, in the New Testament, Jesus gives his law on a mountain: the Sermon on the Mount; he dies on Mt. Calvary, and, in a climactic moment in his public life, he brings three of his disciples to the top of a mountain—and there he is transfigured before them.
What is especially being stressed here is the manner in which Jesus represents the fulfillment of the Old Testament revelation, economically symbolized by the two figures with whom he converses: Moses, representing the law, and Elijah, representing the prophets. When a Jew of Jesus' time would speak of the Scriptures, he would use a shorthand: the law and the prophets. So in speaking to Moses and Elijah, in the glory of the transfiguration, Jesus signals that he brings them to their proper fulfillment.