12 February 2007

Looking ahead

As you can tell from the "countdown clock" posted at the top right-hand corner, Lent will be here in a matter of days. Those who have been part of the parish for any length of time know it's my favorite season of the year. The Masses, the additional devotions, the special sacrifices, it all makes for a time of spiritual growth which corresponds to the time of the year itself. It truly is a springtime.

I'm not trying to rush the coming of Lent, but it seems to me that the magnificent possibilities of our spiritual growth are especially evident on the Second Sunday in Lent with the Gospel reading of the Transfiguration. It was an impressive sight for Peter, James, and John, when they saw the Lord Jesus Christ radiating His divine glory, talking with Moses and Elijah. These disciples never forgot it. They wrote about it later. St. John wrote in His gospel, "We have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father." St. Peter wrote: "We were eyewitnesses of His majesty." It was there, on a mountain, in full view of his three closest disciples, that Jesus manifested His glory, the glory that was His as the only begotten Son of the Father - God from God, Light from Light, very God from very God.

I mention this now because I wanted to share a hymn-text I wrote, which we use at the parish every year on that Sunday. It seemed to me that if I posted it early enough there would be others who might want to use it. The text is sung to the tune "Ewing," a majestic melody best known using the words, "Jerusalem the golden."

Behold our Lord transfigured,
In Sacrament Divine;
His glory deeply hidden,
'Neath forms of Bread and Wine.
Our eyes of faith behold Him,
Salvation is outpoured;
The Saviour dwells among us,
by ev'ry heart adored.

No longer on the mountain
With Peter, James and John,
Our precious Saviour bids us
To walk where saints have gone.
He has no lasting dwelling,
Save in the hearts of men;
He feeds us with His Body,
To make us whole again.

With Moses and Elijah,
We worship Christ our King;
Lord, make our souls transfigured,
Let us with angels sing.
Lead us in paths of glory,
Give tongues to sing thy praise;
Lord Jesus, keep us faithful,
Now and for all our days.

Text: Fr. Christopher G. Phillips, 1990
Music: "Ewing" by Alexander C. Ewing, 1853