Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Transfiguration Table

This alive and bright painting is titled Transfiguration Table. It is August, and nature is offering one last great push of light, wheat, flower and fruit before autumn. Even the wallpaper gets in on it all, reflecting nature's gifts. And we have been invited into this most modest home to share the simple feast day meal.

"There in their presence he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as dazzling as light. Matthew 7:1-8.

Gospel and painting: everything suggests God's abundance. It is a brilliant summer day: blue sky with fruit trees that seem to sparkle. The window is wide open and the curtains transparent, allowing the room to fill with light and air. The lamp is lit before the piled up icons in the Beautiful Corner; an altar-like candle burns to welcome us as guests. All the more, wheat shafts bring the Eucharistic table to mind, and a brimming bowl is ready with wooden spoons.

At first, it strikes me as strange that there would be fruit lifted up by the window to ripen. But then, maybe it's not about fruit at all, but about us, that in Christ, God reaches into our world to ripen us in some yet unimagined way.


  1. The first thing I thought of when I saw the bowl of fruit at the window, was that it was looking longingly at the tree outside, its fruit bearing branches still laden with living and not yet picked fruit.

  2. It is difficult to imagine how it was to witness the Transfiguration. The brilliant light, probably more peaceful than blinding. As if Jesus allowed the apostles to witness his heavenly self shining through a human form. The purity of light, unblemished and unscarred. The most beautiful thing in nature cannot compare.

  3. Its a wonderful picture of God's light, so symbolic of the many gifts of the Spirit. When I see pictures like these. I am grateful for the graces, He has given me to see His message of Light and His bounteous gifts for my soul and happiness.

  4. And the voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased." So may WE shine too - beloved of God.

  5. I have been thinking about something lately. Are people free to attend Mass wherever they want to? Is it not frowned upon for a priest to poach people from a parish and other places to attend his own services? Does the bishop of every dioceses regularly allow this even if it creates an almost cult like atmosphere?

  6. A friend is just returning from a cross country trip and he's gone to Mass in a different church every weekend. But "poaching" people and "cult like atmosphere?' Yikes.

    1. I wasn't referring to people traveling as that would require visiting other churches other than one's own. I meant regularly going to Mass outside the boundaries of one's parish, or outside the confines of any parish for that matter, just because you prefer a priest, or the music or the liturgical practice more there. Ia this allowed and encouraged?

  7. Many years ago this was a big deal. I know of a town with a so-called "Irish parish" and just a few blocks away the "German parish." The priests apparently knew by your voice if you belonged to the "other" parish and would send you away out of the confessional if he caught on. On Long Island, where just about every town has its church, people regularly move around one to another because the Mass schedule suits their needs for a given weekend. Pastors vie to have the earliest Saturday evening Mass. And people regularly move around to hear this or that priest's homily. Folks may be registered in a certain parish but have connections in many places: the sermon, the music, the liturgical style, the opportunities for participating in the programs of another parish or the Works of Mercy outreach, or even because they are drawn to the religious ed programs (kids and adults) of another parish. This kind of fluidity is acknowledged and accepted today. I was in a parish which on Wednesday night folks from many parishes came together to make sandwiches for a food bank which was miles away. I'm just now remembering this happy 1960's folkmass song "We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord."

  8. "God's abundance" reminded me of what "galore" apparently means in one of my ancestral languages.

    Today's meaning of 'in great abundance' may be how folks felt when they had galore food, or anything else. Back in the day, I've ready, it meant to sufficiency, or enough.

    There is wisdom in that.

  9. God's abundance: like a copious amount of water turned to wine, like a few loaves and fishes feeding 5000, like a paralyzed man being brought to Jesus looking only for a healing miracle and he gets sins forgiven as well... "Abundance" - a super-satisfaction.