11th day of Lent.

Two quotes and a story on this day after hearing the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration at Mass.

“The glory of God is [a person] fully alive, and the life of [the human person] is the vision of God.” ~ Saint Irenaus, Against Heresies Book IV, 20, 7.

“The only true and steadfast Teacher, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, through his transcendent love, became what we are, that he might bring us to be what he is himself.” ~ St. Irenaus, Against Heresies, Book V, preface.

“Reb Zusya, a righteous rabbi, lay dying. His disciples surrounded him, and were astounded to see that their teacher and sage, a man whom all regarded as a model of appropriate thought and deed, shook with fear at the prospect of death and judgement.

“Master,” said his disciples, “why do you fear God’s judgement? You have lived life with the faith of Abraham. You have been as nurturing as Rachel. You have feared the Divine as Moses himself. Why do you fear judgement?”

Zusya took a deep, shuddering breath, and replied: “When I come before the throne of judgement, I am not afraid that God will ask, ‘why were you not more like Abraham?’ After all, I can say, ‘O God, you know best of all, that I am Zusya, not Abraham, how then should I have been more like Abraham?’ And if God should ask, ‘Why were you not more caring, like Rachel?’ I can respond, ‘Master of the Universe, you made me to be Zusya, not Rachel. If you wanted me to be more like Rachel, you should have made me more like Rachel.’ And should the True Judge say, ‘Zusya, why were you not more like Moses?’ I can respond, ‘O Mysterious One, who am I, Zusya, that I should be like Moses.’ But, I tremble in terror, because I think the Eternal will ask me another question. I believe I will be asked, ‘Zusya, why were you not more like Zusya?’ And when I am asked this, how shall I respond?””

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