MASS ON THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD
ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Tuesday, 6 August 2002
"His face shone like the sun" (Mt 17,2), we read in today's Gospel. The face of Christ is the face of light that tears open the obscure mystery of death: it is the proclamation and pledge of our glory, because it is the face of the Crucified and Risen One. On it, the Church his Bride, contemplates her treasure and her joy: "Dulcis Iesu memoria, dans vera cordis gaudia" (O gentle memory of Jesus, giving true joy of heart).
Today we remember my venerable Predecessor, the Servant of God Paul VI who, 24 years ago, at sunset on this day, the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, departed from this place to enter God's peace and contemplate his resplendent glory.
How often, recollected in prayer, did he long to see the face of the Lord in faith! His steadfast witness to Christ, the Light of the world, in the difficult times in which he exercised the Supreme Pontificate, even today lives in the Church. He was an untiring, patient architect in building "the civilization of love", of which the glorious face of the Redeemer is the light.
As we prepare to celebrate Mass, let us entrust to God the soul of his faithful servant. Let us also ask the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, that every day of our lives may become a concrete witness of love for the Lord, whose face continues to shine upon us (cf. Ps 67,3).