There is a generation of Catholics who “don’t quite get” that Jesus Christ is God, said Archbishop Jason Gordon at a Mass to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Companions of the Transfigured Christ (CTC), August 9 at Church of the Assumption, Maraval.
The CTC ‘s anniversary, August 6, Feast of the Transfiguration marked the day when the founders Kyle Dardaine, Mikkel Trestrail and Shad Seaton met.
Calling the transfiguration one of the “great events” in the life of Jesus, the Archbishop stated, “It’s not about Him in His earthly glory. [It] is about Him, body, soul, blood, divinity: the whole of Him”.
He however, noted, “Our generation does not easily see through the gospel readings. We have kind of dumbed-down the gospel readings and the gospel highlighting the humanity and wisdom and kind of gone short on the divinity and the glory.” Religion has consequently become more like a cult or club and “as it is convenient” to people.
Examining the day’s readings, Archbishop Gordon spoke of Peter’s journey and experience of God’s transfiguration on the mountain. The text from the gospel, the Archbishop emphasised, illustrates a “rare occasion” where there were witnesses.
Prior to this, every first century Jew would have heard “layers” of the truth, he said.
He gave the example of Moses and Elijah at the mountain. Moses had experienced the Shekinah Glory “coming down on him and transforming him so that when he came off the mountain his face was shining”. Elijah experienced God as a “gentle breeze” on the mountain.
“Moses and Elijah on the mountain is to say that we have two people who know what the glory of God looks like and the whole of the Old Testament is there to witness to the truth that the whole Testament has been fulfilled in this appearance of Jesus Christ,” the Archbishop said.
Archbishop Gordon observed that when God appeared, there was terror and fear.
He asserted if one never had an encounter with God and were not “absolutely terrified” then it was not an encounter with God.
“Check again. Because if it is an encounter with God, it does something to our egos and it creates incredible terror inside of us because in the face of the living God, who are we?”
The Archbishop reminded faithful that the same cloud which led Israel through the desert is the same cloud that appeared on the mountain with a “voice” that brought forth a word that was so “majestic”.
It was this voice, Archbishop Gordon believed, that “shatters” all the illusions of untruth of every religion coming as a forerunner of the one true religion: ‘You are my Son, the Beloved, you are the Beloved’.
“And then it speaks to the witnesses and says ‘Listen to Him’. A scene like this has never been seen before where God has appeared so blatantly to human beings, or heard before. For 400 years, Heaven was shut up and there was no word from God and now the word has been spoken, and the silence has been broken. And the word is a word of affirmation….” Archbishop Gordon said.
Speaking to the CTC members, the Archbishop said that if they believe this word of affirmation, then they can’t be “hard ears” anymore.
“When we were cool, we couldn’t be hard ears anymore. Gangs [the CTC originally called themselves GANG—God’s Anointed New Generation] are rebellious by nature but CTC can’t afford to be hard ears anymore…” he said.
Reiterating the importance of obeying God’s Word, the Archbishop hoped that in this obedience CTC will find and fulfil their mission in the world.
“And until we can hear that deep inside our bellies, until we are sure that that is the real truth of my existence, the Companions of the Transfigured Christ would be something of horror and terror, as opposed to something of grace, a transformation of ourselves into becoming the beloved that God created us to become,” Archbishop Gordon said.
As CTC might be heading to the cross, the Archbishop instructed them not to be afraid because if they are willing to hear and embrace God’s Word, take it into their hearts and digest it, then His Word will be a lamp to their feet.
The Anniversary Mass saw members of the community renewing their commitment by reciting their community prayer. At the end of Mass, Dardaine, Trestrail and Seaton shared a few remarks about their experience with the CTC.