The Glorious Celebration of The Mass.

Chapter Fifteen: The Comfort of Mercy.

Where can we find comfort and refuge amidst the trials and difficulties of life? To search for answers, join me on a virtual pilgrimage to Mount Tabor, located in northern Israel, as we explore the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus. No passport necessary.

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The Church of the Transfiguration seen atop Mount Tabor in northern Israel.

A sneak peak into Karen’s upcoming book.

The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love.

Chapter Fifteen: The Comfort of Mercy. 

Psalms 52:12-14. A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. Give me back the joy of your salvation and a willing spirit sustain in me.

Excerpt: Exhausted from the demands of work and the emotionally difficult annulment process, the recent divorcee longed for a quiet and comforting refuge in her life. Recalling the peacefulness of her youth, she sought out a local Catholic church and, once again, started participating in a weekly celebration of the Mass. Comforted, she soaked in the beauty of her surroundings, joyful music, familiar childhood prayers, and kind face of the celebrant. Approaching the altar to receive Holy Communion, she failed to recognize the real presence of her beloved Jesus or the divine gift of the Holy Spirit being imparted upon her very heart and soul at that moment. This gift of grace, however, would germinate over time and eventually grow into the largest of trees, a tree bearing the fruits of desire for holiness, wisdom, patience, love and compassion. Unaware but fortified, she left Mass that Sunday morning and continued her journey down the winding road of recovery towards the light of God’s love.

Virtual Pilgrimage Location. Mount Tabor in northern Israel and the Church of the Transfiguration.

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Mount Tabor is an isolated hill or small mountain arising abruptly from the rather flat or level lands located 11 miles west of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.

Mount Tabor, reaching a height of 1,886 feet, is believed by many Christians to be the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus. This important event in Christianity is recorded in all three of the synoptic gospels. In each account, Jesus and three of His apostles, including Peter, James and John, go to the mountain to pray. There, Jesus is transfigured before them, as “His face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes as radiant as light,” (Matthew 17:2). At that point, the Old Testament prophets, Moses and Elijah, appear glorified and begin to talk with Jesus about His upcoming death, resurrection, ascension, and ultimate triumph over sin.

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Located over the central altar of the Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, this mosaic depicts, from left to right, Peter, Moses, Jesus, Elijah, James and John.

Aware that it was the Jewish Feast of Booths, Peter asked Jesus if he should make three tents, one for each of them. Before receiving an answer, a bright cloud appeared in the sky as a voice was heard saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to him,” (Matthew 17:3-5). Here, we find further revelation, from our Heavenly Father, that Jesus is indeed the Son of God. Fulfilling the Old Testament law and prophesies, Jesus, fully glorified, is indeed the long awaited Messiah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, sent to take away the sins of the world. Like the glorified prophets of old and the three apostles, we too can look forward to the gift of eternal life and the transformative powers of Jesus’ glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven.

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Pictured above: the three naves of the Church of the Transfiguration.

The Franciscan, Roman Catholic Church of the Transfiguration was built on the peak of Mount Tabor between 1919 and 1924. Designed to represent the three booths, described by the apostle, Peter, the Church consists of three naves separated by two rows of arches and their supporting columns. In the two bell towers, located on either side of the entrance, are two chapels, one dedicated to Moses, and the other to Elijah. Both contain an image depicting the famous mountain top stories in each of their lives, Moses receiving the Tablets of the Law on Mount Sinai, and Elijah slaying the prophets of Ba’al on Mount Carmel.

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The northern chapel, located in the Church of the Transfiguration, dedicated to Moses as he receives the Tablets of the Law on Mount Sinai.

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The southern chapel, located in the Church of the Transfiguration, dedicated to Elijah as he slays the prophets of Ba’al on Mount Carmel.

Historically, Mount Tabor, located high above the road junction between Damascus and the Jezreel Valley, proved to be of great military value. As a result, these ancient grounds were the site of many Jewish victories throughout salvation history. Along with its great military value, Mount Tabor also served as a beacon of light informing northern Jewish villagers of their upcoming holy days and calendar feasts. Likewise, the Mount of the Transfiguration serves both purposes in the life of a Christian. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the Transfiguration is considered, “the greatest of Jesus’ miracles,” as it complements baptism, the victory over sin, and shows the glorious light of heaven awaiting all those who place their trust in the redemptive death and glorious resurrection of Christ.

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The winding road leading to the glory of the Transfiguration.

Hearing God’s proclamation, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to him,” Peter, James and John are reported to have fallen to the ground in fear. Immediately, Jesus comes towards them, lays His hands on them, and comforts them by saying, “Get up! Do not be afraid,” (Matthew 17:7). He goes on to tell them, “Do not tell anyone of the vision until the Son of Man rises from the dead,” (Matthew 17:7-8). Then, recognizing God’s dwelling among them, they are themselves transformed as they gain intimate knowledge about the paschal mystery of Christ (His death, resurrection and ascension into heaven). Lord, we pray for the eyes of faith and ability to recognize your glorious presence in the celebration of the Mass. We implore your comfort, protection and illumination as we travel along the winding road towards our own transfigured glory. Come, Lord, Jesus, Come! Amen.

Closing 3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.

Eternal Father, I offer You, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the entire world.

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).

Jesus, I trust in You.

To learn more about my new book entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love, please click on the link below.

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com

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