Aug 6, 2017 - The Transfiguration, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
In 2001, I attended the Saint George Trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. During that 10 day, 100 mile trek, my crew climbed the highest peak on the ranch, Mount Baldy, at 6,000 feet above sea level.
At that altitude breathing becomes difficult and there is a sort of euphoria upon reaching the top. Mount Tabor is 1,900 feet above sea level. While not nearly as high as Mount Baldy, it is still a difficult climb to the top with an impressive view.
It took work for Jesus, Peter, James and John to get up there. Upon reaching the top they would have been winded at the very least.
It is there that they see the Divine, flames of fire, a lamp shining in the darkness, Jesus transfigured before their very eyes.
The voice from heaven gives the command, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
We do lots of talking. We also do lots of listening. And there are so many different voices vying for our time and attention.
There are the talking heads on TV, there is Cajun Dorris on YouTube, there is Donald Trump on Twitter. Kids today have ear buds or headsets on all the time.
While we like to do lots of talking and an even greater amount of listening, I suspect we spend very little time discerning the credibility of the voices we listen to.
All those voice drown out the voice of Jesus, the beloved Son. To listen to Jesus we must be still, we must be quiet and we must stop talking.
Are we taking much time to listen to Jesus? If we are honest we probably aren’t doing too much of that. And then we wonder why life goes all wrong.
We have this tendency to blame God for all our misfortunes. But how can we do that when we weren’t even listening in the first place?
When we listen, we hear something new. I love you. You are mine. This is a message of adoption. You are my beloved son, you are my beloved daughter. With you I am well pleased.
Are we climbing the Mountain of the Lord? That’s the only way to see the Divine, the flames of fire, a lamp shining in the darkness, Jesus transfigured before our very eyes.
And we are given the command, “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” Are we listening to the beloved Son? Discipleship takes effort. It takes listening and seeing and climbing.
As we climb and see and listen we are transformed and come to understand that we are God’s children, that we belong, that we are loved.