Date: Sunday, March 08, 2020
Earlier this week I opened an invitation to have my hearing evaluated free and a promotion for a micro-chip hearing device, a miracle ear. I am sure you’ll let me know if I need testing. But I will use this promo to comment on the Gospel of the Transfiguration. It is certainly a spectacular visual event on the mountain. Jesus takes Peter James and John with him up a high mountain. There Jesus is transfigured. “His face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.”
Peter, James and John see God’s glory radiating from Jesus. “And behold, Moses and Elijah appear conversing with him (Jesus).” “Conversation” entails listening and speaking. Peter, realizing the significance of the moment, volunteers to set up three tents, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. While Peter is still speaking, a cloud overshadows them, and a heavenly voice says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
Before the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter is inspired to say, “Jesus is the Messiah.” But he fails to understand “what being the messiah means to/for Jesus.” Peter rejects that it could entail suffering and death. On the mountain, Jesus is revealed as the Messiah, God’s beloved Son, and the apostles are directed to listen to him. Only when they listen to Jesus will they come to truly know him and stay with him to the Cross.
Lent is all about listening. We listen in prayer which is conversation with God. We listen by reflecting on Sacred Scripture – the Word of God. We listen to Jesus when we hear the cry of the poor. Jesus speaks to us through them. Our compassion for the distressed members of our community is kindness to Jesus himself. In Chapter 25 of the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus solemnly announces Judgment of the Nations. “Whatever you do for one of these least brothers (and sisters) you do to me.” Only when we hear the cry of the poor and respond with love, can we hope to hear the summons of the Great King, “Come you that are blessed by my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you.”