This is clearly an essential moment in the lives of the three disciples who witness this proclamation of Jesus’ true identity as the Son of God. And yet Jesus tells them to “tell no one the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Can you imagine how they must have been just “bursting at the seams” with desire to tell the other disciples…to share this amazing experience where they had seen long dead prophets and saw Jesus transfigured before their very eyes and then on top of that…they heard the “voice of God speak, to them”?!
Remember it was not just a proclamation of Jesus’ divine identity but also instruction from God directly to them to “listen to him!”
I think that Lent can be a time of honing our listening skills, of taking time to slow down in the midst of our chaotic lives and to listen… just listen for God speaking to us.
In our busyness and preoccupation, we so often miss the word spoken “to us” and spoken “for us” by God. In today’s Gospel Jesus took the three disciples apart up a mountain…a retreat of sorts…and there apart from the others they encountered God.
Taking time apart is certainly not easy in the world in which we live, but in order to remain centered and maintain some sense of being disciples of Jesus we all need to take time apart to sit with Jesus…and listen, listen to where he is calling us in our life.
Long before science told us that almost all forms of meditation are beneficial to the whole person; body, mind and spirit, Jesus made it clear that whether retreating to a deserted place or just going into our rooms, being apart for quiet prayer is essential… even Jesus took time apart to pray. So too we are called to take time apart to meditate…not to fill the silence with words but to just sit and listen and to rest in God. And then from that place of silence we can move to a place of informed action, Gospel action!
So let us hone our listening skills this Lent and commit to take time apart to sit with God and allow God to “transfigure us”, so that we might go out and transfigure the world! To transfigure the world by standing up, with and for the poor and the marginalized, working for real and lasting change in their lives and the lives of all who are suffering…wherever we encounter them.
If I am not already meditating can I add three, five-minute periods of meditation to my day? How bad do I want to hear God...and what God might be calling me to? If I am already meditating regularly, how has it affected my awareness of to what, and or to whom God is calling me to help?