Wednesday, August 6, 2014
“Can I really take God at his word?”
“I meant what I said and I said what I meant.” ― Dr. Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg
Gospel text (Mt 17,1-9): Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they were alone. Jesus' appearance was changed before them: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became bright as light. Just then Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. Peter spoke and said to Jesus, «Master, it is good that we are here. If you so wish, I will make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah».
Peter was still speaking when a bright cloud covered them in its shadow, and a voice from the cloud said, «This is my Son, the Beloved, my Chosen One. Listen to him». On hearing the voice, the disciples fell to the ground, full of fear. But Jesus came, touched them and said, «Stand up, do not be afraid». When they raised their eyes, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus. And as they came down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had just seen, until the Son of Man be raised from the dead.
The Father said, “Listen to him.”
Will they listen to Jesus? Will they stand by Jesus as he goes to his Passion and death? We know the story. Peter denied Jesus in the courtyard of the high priest and James, like the rest of the disciples, abandoned Jesus. Only John listened to Jesus and was not scandalized by the passion and death of Christ.
Perhaps we are disappointed that Peter and James did not listen to Jesus, did not remain faithful to Jesus, during the time he most needed them. They had seen Jesus transfigured, they heard the command of the Father to listen to Jesus, they had been with Jesus for other intimate moments like the raising of the girl to life again but they were scandalized by the Passion of Jesus. But why should we be disappointed with them? We also have experienced and met Jesus in many ways and sometimes we too let him down.
• We meet Jesus in a most intimate way every time we receive him in the Eucharist. It is the time when we are closest to Jesus.
• We meet Jesus in the Scriptures as they touch our hearts. Jesus speaks to us now when we read the Scriptures. The Scriptures are not just about the life of Jesus; in the Scriptures Jesus also speaks to us about our lives and in them we meet Jesus as he speaks to us about our lives.
• We meet Jesus in a very special way in all the sacraments.
• We meet Jesus every day in the poor and homeless we encounter on the streets and in the train stations
• We have seen Jesus in great people like Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.
Just as Peter and James needed to know after Jesus’ resurrection that he did not hold their abandonment of him against them, we too need to be reconciled to Jesus – and often. We need to meet Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation often because there are times when we do not listen to Jesus, times when we deny Jesus, not in the courtyard of the high priest in Jerusalem, but maybe sometimes in our families, or perhaps where we work, or maybe in our communities.
The Father commanded, “Listen to him.” John is a model disciple; he was faithful to Jesus to the end. Peter and James for a short while did not listen to Jesus, but just as Peter, James and John became great witnesses to Jesus, we too can become great witnesses to Jesus.
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 6:40 AM