I often tell you that it is important to always keep in mind that just as Jesus gave all He could that you can be saved, so does the devil give all he can that you will be lost. Further, as with Jesus and your salvation, so it is with the devil and your perdition. Every soul is valuable, Jesus died so that each soul can be saved and the devil works to see each soul lost. The stakes are high.
We are indeed in the souls business and our side of it is in salvation. Our competitor who in time will be out of business is in the perdition side of this “business.” The stakes literally could not be higher. This is why Jesus has to suffer and die for the salvation of souls. I can fully explain to you the reason on a scientific level, but that would take more time than I have here.
St. Maximus the Confessor teaches that Jesus’ tortuous death on the cross was actually the devil doing everything he could to get Jesus to not love, not even hate, but not love for so much as a nanosecond. If he succeeded, then we would be lost. So, what we actually see in the Crucifixion is a powerful spiritual battle that plays itself out in the material world where the stakes are the highest they ever have been.
This is the reason for the Transfiguration. Pope St. John Paul II taught that the Transfiguration was Jesus’ way of readying the chosen apostles for this battle. He was showing them the truth of his being and the future of their being. This was the strengthen them for the battle that was to come that would leave them completely broken down and their hopes dashed to the wall. Why? Because they will expect none of this.
Who are the three apostles: Peter, the first pope, James, the first apostle martyr and John the only one who did not run away. All three need this experience that they do not lose hope, for they will become involved in and witnesses to the pinnacle of the battle for souls and will need every bit of their strength to not abandon the mission.
Never forget this mission ourselves. Many look upon the Church as falling apart and they say that Church is losing a losing battle. However, if you study your faith, you will realize the opposite is true. We are presently in a modern day battle for souls, the current stage is between those who accept the wisdom of God and those who accept the wisdom of the world. There are more of the latter than the former, but Jesus said that would happen. We not only have to make the choice daily, we are on a mission to others about that same choice. The battle continues, as St. Paul teaches and you and are are in the midst of it.
The Transfiguration is there for a reason, to remind us of where we are going, who we truly are and to where Jesus is calling us. Never forget that lesson, so that when things go wrong you can stand fast and continue to point to the one who is leading us to Heaven.
For remember how I began this homily, never forget that we are in the saving souls business and the stakes are mighty high.
God bless you,
Fr.Robert J Carr
Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo of the Canção Nova Community. He is the pastor of Holy Trinity Quincy, MA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube. You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr, his website is Carrbooks.us Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook