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‘The renewal of Catholicism in Ireland that we long and pray for, depends on a return to the truth that Christianity uniquely proclaims; that in the incarnation God the Creator has united Himself to the mystery of our humanity through the person of Jesus Christ. This means that God has intimately united Himself by his Holy Spirit to every human being and to our common human nature. To many who have negative experiences of Church in the past or who are indifferent in the present, faith in God is detached from our humanity and in some cases, perceived as anti-human and oppressive. This Sunday’s feast of the Transfiguration is an opportunity to point to the opposite – in the words of St Irenaeus that ‘the glory of God is the human person fully alive’. We see this in the Gospel with Jesus transfigured. The radiant divine light does not come from outside him but from within his human nature that was permeated by his divine nature. Because of our baptism into Christ, like an intravenous drip given in hospital, we too have been infused with God’s divine life that permeates our humanity from within. At the Eucharist, this divine life is stirred up as we hear God’s Word and as the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ fuses with our body, blood, soul and humanity. Here is the life of Christ soaking into the mystical body of his people the Church. The Lord’s Transfiguration reveals that our humanity is shot through with the Spirit of the living God, making it, sacred, radiant and holy. The revival of Christian faith in Ireland must embrace this Good News, believe it with fresh hearts, celebrate it in the liturgy and by proclaiming it anew, make it the foundation for a renewed humanity, Church and society’.

Fr Billy Swan

1st March 2023


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