Pope Benedict XVI kneels in prayer Feb. 26 during his weeklong Lenten retreat in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Apostolic Palace. Celebrating a morning Mass March 4 at the Church of St. John Baptist de la Salle in a Rome suburb and reciting the Angelus at midday with visitors at the Vatican, Pope Benedict commented on the day's Gospel account of the Transfiguration. CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano

Pope says everyone needs help getting through tough moments

By  Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
  • March 5, 2012

VATICAN CITY - Just like the disciples, every follower of Jesus needs a "mountain-top" experience of light and of closeness to the Lord to get them through life's difficult and painful moments, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Celebrating a morning Mass March 4 at the Church of St. John Baptist de la Salle in a Rome suburb and reciting the Angelus at midday with visitors at the Vatican, Pope Benedict commented on the day's Gospel account of the Transfiguration.

Jesus told his disciples that he would have to suffer and die, but they did not understand him and, in fact, they objected to the idea, the Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus.

"For this reason, Jesus took three of them up the mountain and revealed his divine glory, the splendor of truth and love. Jesus wanted this light to illuminate their hearts when they would pass through the thick darkness of his passion and death, when the scandal of the cross would be insupportable for them," the Pope said.

"All of us need interior light to overcome the trials of life," he said. "This light comes from God, and it is Christ who gives it to us."

Celebrating Mass at the parish on the outskirts of Rome in the morning, Pope Benedict said that in his transfiguration, Jesus takes the disciples up one mountain to demonstrate "his glory before his sacrifice on the cross" on another hill, Calvary.

"Jesus takes the three apostles with him to help them understand that the path to glory, the path of shining love that defeats the darkness of evil, passes through the total gift of self, passes through the scandal of the cross," the Pope said.

Reading the story of the Transfiguration during Lent, he said, "helps us, too, see the passion of Jesus with the eyes of faith. It is a mystery of suffering, but it also is a 'blessed passion' because it is the mystery of the extraordinary love of God."

Jesus' transfiguration and, especially, his resurrection "give us the firm hope that also in our lives the victory will belong to God, to goodness, to love. We need that in our daily journey, so often marked by the darkness of evil," the Pope in his homily.

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