Saint Theresa Parish

A Roman Catholic Community
5045 E. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-0850 Parish Office
(602) 840-0871 Parish Fax  

Parish Email

Parish Office Hours
Monday through Thursday
9:00AM-Noon & 1:00PM-5:00PM
Friday 9:00AM-Noon          Sunday 8:30AM-12:30PM

Closed Saturdays
& most Federal Holidays.

Liturgy Schedule
Saturday Vigil Mass 4PM
Sunday Masses
9:00AM (Liturgy with Children)
11:00AM and
5:00PM (Teen and Young Adult)

Daily Masses
Monday through Friday
6:30AM and Saturday at 8:00AM
Holy Day Masses as announced in bulletin prior to the Holy Day.

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday, 9:00AM to 10:00AM
Wednesday, 5:00PM to 6:00PM and by appointment


Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Parochial Vicar 

(Associate Pastor)

Rev. Joachim Adeyemi

Rev. J.C. Ortiz

Assisting Priest

Rev. Paul Peri


Colin F. Campbell

Mark Kriese

Ralph Ulibarri


Saint Theresa Catholic School
5001 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018

(602) 840-0010 School Office
(602) 840-8323 School Fax



« Reflections - March 24, 2019 | Main | Reflections - March 10, 2019 »

Reflections - March 17, 2019

My Brothers and Sisters,

On this Second Sunday of Lent, we hear the marvelous story of the Transfiguration in Luke’s Gospel (9:28b-36).  Jesus takes his disciples Peter, James and John with him “up the mountain to pray.”  And pray they did!

During their prayer, the disciples witness Jesus being transformed – his face changes in appearance, and his clothing becomes dazzlingly white.  Peter, James and John were dumbfounded – they never saw that coming.  Essentially, they were given a great gift by God – as this whole mountaintop experience would become for them a “snapshot” of the divinity of Jesus, who until this point was simple yet compelling teacher whose company they were keeping as he made his way around the countryside. The experience goes on, and we hear how Moses and Elijah appear in glory and begin conversing with Jesus, speaking of “his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem” – i.e. his passion, death and resurrection.  Peter is so caught up in this experience that he suggests they set up camp with Moses and Elijah so that this incredible experience can continue.  Then, as if anything else could happen, a cloud (a sign of God’s presence in the Hebrew Scriptures) comes and engulfs them – and the voice is heard from the cloud: “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”  

Can you even begin to imagine how Peter, James and John could have felt following this encounter with the Divine – and this validation of the divinity of this man Jesus, whom they had regarded as friend, teacher and mentor?  Jesus wasn’t the only one who experienced a transformation on that mountaintop – the three disciples did as well!  They were transformed by the experience of Jesus’ divinity.

The divinity of Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of God – and the ancient and consistent Christian teaching that our One God is Triune: a Trinity of Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is something that many of us, I’m sure, simply take for granted. I know that this is true for me, perhaps due to 21 years of Catholic education (from Kindergarten through graduate school) and nearly 40 years of priesthood.  Of course Jesus is fully God and fully human, just like us in all things but sin.  That’s just “a given,” in my mind.   

The problem with “givens,” or those things that we’ve come to accept just reflexively, is that they can lack the “awesomeness factor” that was present for those first-century disciples on that mountaintop. Without that awe, it can be more difficult to be transformed as Peter, James and John were transformed as a result of Jesus’ Transfiguration.

Lent is a time of transformation, a time of “metanoia:” changing direction in our lives (with God’s help) to conform ourselves more completely to God’s will for us, loving God and loving neighbor as self. This is the means by which we ultimately find fulfillment, not only in the life to come but also in this life.

Perhaps a good exercise for each of us would be to take some time to contemplate the fact that, while Jesus can relate to us fully as he is fully human… Jesus is also the very presence of God in our lives.  When we receive the Eucharist, we are truly bringing the “body, blood, soul and divinity” of Christ into our own bodies – with all that is implied by that!  The healing power of God’s love becomes physically present within is, to be absorbed into our own flesh and blood.  If we allow ourselves to reflect in this – how can our reception of the Eucharist not be transformative for us?

Yes, Peter, James and John enjoyed a personal transformation when they witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus… but we too can be transformed if we open ourselves to truly believing in the Divinity of Christ revealed to us under the appearance of bread and wine.  Perhaps, as we allow ourselves to fully and deeply believe this, we too can feel a similar awe – and experience similar transformation – as did those disciples on that mountaintop so many years ago.

Happy Lent!

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer