Bulletin Article – February 25, 2024

Throughout the year, we present an article in the bulletin each week on a variety of topics, written by a member of our Parish staff on a rotating basis.

Spiritual Reflection

by Orin Johnson, Director of Music & Liturgy

From the Rising of the Sun…

On this Sunday of Lent, we always, in each lectionary cycle, hear about the transfiguration of the Lord, one of the few passages found in each of the three synoptic Gospels, and a moment even alluded to in Peter’s second epistle.  Jesus’s clothes become dazzlingly white, Mark tells us, and Luke’s Gospel adds that Jesus’s face shone brightly like the sun.  Light, considered together with darkness, is an always present sign and symbol of our faith.  There is no darkness the light cannot overcome, John’s beautiful prologue reminds us.

There is a hopefully familiar line in Eucharistic Prayer III which says, “…so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name.”  There is that presence of light and darkness again.  At first hearing, one might assume this phrase describes a length of time, the duration that the sun shines in any particular spot on the earth.  One can quickly determine this must not be the case however: otherwise, this would be prescribing that masses ought not be offered, anywhere, after sundown.

Instead of a statement of only light and darkness, this phrase is rather a geographical one.  The previous English translation of this phrase used the words “…so that from east to west…” which indicates perhaps more clearly that it is all over the world people are gathered unto the Lord to worship and give thanks.  Indeed, somewhere on earth the sun is always shining.  The divine light is always piercing the darkness, one way or another.  Christ’s light fills the earth at all times, even if reflected by the moon, making it impossible for the darkness to ever achieve final victory.


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