04.03.16: Listen to understand
Bulletin column for St. Mary's Parish in Griffith, Ind.
The notion of the Transfiguration can be puzzling, and I imagine it was none too different for Peter, James and John, the three disciples who were there as it happened.
Here they are, sleeping peacefully, when they open their eyes and have no idea what this miraculous thing transpiring before them really is. I see the three disciples as precursors to Sherlock Holmes. They know they awoke to something, but all they have is a series of clues that need further investigation. There was this bizarre sight, then all of the sudden, there was this loud booming voice coming from nowhere. This voice, though, wasn’t a thunderclap, but a crystal clear voice.
“This is my chosen Son; listen to him,” the voice commands.
Just as they heeded the advice of that unknown voice, so do we this day. We gather as a parish community to listen to the Word, to listen to accounts of the life of this man Jesus, the miracles he performed, the healings he worked. We do so, based not on sight, but on faith.
Just as the disciples 2,000 years ago, we strive to not just hear the Word, but to listen. God’s Word is alive. It’s active. The Word of God moves us and shakes us to the core of our very being. It challenges us to think differently, to behave differently, to live differently and to love differently. The Word moves us beyond ourselves and into something greater. Through our shared belief in the Word, we become united with each other as the Body of Christ.
When we listen to God’s Word, when we trust in his beloved Son and when we allow ourselves to be moved by the Holy Spirit, an amazing transformation takes place. And, if we’re paying attention to the changes in our heart, we too can see a glimpse of God’s glory at work, just as those disciples did long ago.