Feast of Blessed Richard Meux Benson SSJE
1 Kings 19:9-18
1 John 4:7-12
It all happened so quickly. A letter arrived in early October and three weeks later, tickets had been purchased, luggage packed, work reassigned, a notice in the parish magazine placed, and an adventure begun.
It was October 1870 when a letter from the Wardens of the Church of the Advent arrived at the Mission House in Oxford, asking Father Benson if members of the Society would be available to assist the Rector of the Parish for a number of months. The invitation was so significant, and so unexpected, that Father Benson thought it best if he himself travelled to Boston to investigate. His departure was set for All Saints Day. The day before, he wrote to members of the Parish of Cowley St. John, encouraging them to be diligent in your attendance at all the means of grace, and in your prayers.
It was not an easy crossing. Father Benson, and his companions, Father O’Neill and Father Puller, were not good sailors. Early in the voyage Father Benson wrote home saying: We do not feel well. The motion of the boat makes one so dizzy and stupid that it is difficult to read or write. Last night we went to bed feeling very bad, but we are now getting wonderfully used to the motion. The sea is what sailors call smooth.
1 Kings 19: 9-18 Psalm 27
2 Peter 1: 16-19 Mark 9: 2-9
What we hear in the Gospel today is an epiphany, a manifestation of Christ, a revelation of the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth. Was it a dream? Was it a waking vision? Was it a story Peter recounted many years later as he remembered it of his experience on the mountain that day?