“I’m not saying you should cut off your arm. But rather understand that our physical existence is temporary, and the journey for us has just begun” –Brownyn Gibson
What are the stories of transfiguration in our society and media today? St Margaret’s youth group explores current stories and how they relate to the Transfiguration of Christ.
Joseph Gibson: There’s this man named Bruce Banner. He was a gifted scientist and intellectual. One day after dealing with a dangerous compound call Gamma Ray, he was infected with a special disease. He turned green and 5 times his own size with super strength every time he got upset. The media vilified him. They deemed him a monster and a criminal. One day, there was an explosion at the lab and a young student was caught in the blast. Bruce Banner, who wasn’t able to control his new ability, was part of a scientific miracle as he was able to control the power for good and save the little boy. This one moment of incredible selflessness changed the world for ever. They called him, The Hulk.
Eleanor Johnson: There’s this young wizard named Harry Potter. His parents were taken away from him as a little boy, but the villain was unable to take Harry’s life either, and instead left a scar on his forehead; a symbol of survival and warning. Years later, Harry was cracking under the pressure of his peers and the whole magic community. He was afraid he would not live up to the scar on his head, upon the return of the villain. He was just a regular boy. But during the final battle between Harry and the killer of his parents he summons a power that transcended magic. A connection with a higher power gave him this much needed transformation to defeat evil.
Bronwyn Gibson: There’s this young woman named “Katniss Everdeen” from District 12. During a time with an extreme gap between rich and poor, poor people are chosen from every district to compete in a survival-based competition and the winner is showered with riches. Every other competitor dies. During the lottery draw of her district, a young girl is picked. Katniss does something completely out of character and volunteers in her position. This incredible selfless gesture will ended up inspiring all the other districts and change the world.”
Patrick De Belen:
Understanding the Transfiguration can be pretty difficult for a young person. From walking up the mountain and the doubt in Jesus, to the shining light on Jesus and the monuments built by the disciples, to the appearance of Moses and Elijah, and the message from God; “Listen to him.” There are a lot of things for us to breakdown. What should be known though, is that it is one of the most powerful stories in the New Testament. It’s the one time Jesus fully reveals Himself as a deity and when God showcases the amazingness of life after death. The only other time He does this is the crucifixion. The main aspect of this explicit reminder from God, is the transformation Jesus goes through from man to spirit. The light shining on His disciples symbolizes the message that this form of transformation is not specific to only highly-spiritual beings, but to every human who chooses a path of Christ over a path of sin. It’s a reminder that their journey will end in paradise.
Young people read stories of this transformation every day. People doing extraordinary things in the face of doubt and adversity, to remind the world that everything is always bigger than us. We encourage you to look for these reminders in your own life, whenever you are worried about the path we’re on.
Prayers of the People
I heard of this story where these two twins were living in fear and sadness, struggling to come out as gay to their families and friends. After years of waiting, they finally decided to come out to everyone but their father. They were so scared that he would no longer love them anymore. They built up the courage and sent him a video of them coming out. The father cried and promised to love them no matter who they choose to love. The video circulated internationally and help thousands of other young people. I hope that everyone could build up the courage to be themselves, even under extraordinary measures. We pray to the lord.
Dear lord, we pray that you help remind us to remain on the path of good. Though we may doubt and though we may stray, may you give us the strength to continue on and the willingness to look for reminders of You in our lives. Help us show a little bit of You in everything we do, and listen closely to the messages you send us. We pray to the lord.
I heard of this story where this girl named Annaliese Carr swam across Canada for a summer camp for cancer patients. She used whatever skills she had to do something bigger than herself. I hope that we can use her story along with millions of others, to remind us of the power and selflessness of God. We pray to the lord.
I heard of this story where this mountain climber falls down a ravine and his hand gets trapped in a boulder. His only chance of survival is amputating his own arm. I pray that everyone understands the beauty and sacrifice in living with God. I’m not saying you should cut off your arm. But rather understand that our physical existence is temporary, and the journey for us has just begun. We pray to the lord.