Dn 7:9-10, 13-14
2 Pt 1:16-19
The Gospel scene of the transfiguration of Jesus has a very mysterious and transcendent aura. The disciples who accompany Jesus up the mountain seem to be overcome by this transcendent experience. Mark tells us that Peter and the others “hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.” Yet, in the midst of this mountaintop moment, the disciples are given a very practical command. The divine voice from the cloud instructs them to listen: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” What is required of the disciples who have been privileged to witness the transfiguration is that they listen more attentively to Jesus.
This same invitation is spoken to you and to me today. Listening is not easy for any of us. It requires sustained effort and energy. And that is true even of our moments of personal prayer. It is often easier to fill our time of prayer with an endless stream of words than it is to take the time simply to be quiet and to listen. But if we do quiet down and listen, we often find that God has his ways to communicating with us.
God speaks to us through the Scriptures, sometimes in ways that seem quite direct. Did you ever have the experience of listening to a Scripture passage for the tenth or twentieth time, yet feeling as if you were hearing it for the very first time? It seems to speak directly to your situation. The Lord speaks through the symbols and words of the liturgy, which are so rich in our Catholic tradition. Sometimes God speaks to us by means of a good idea or a sense of direction, especially when we are trying to make an important decision. God also speaks through a deep sense of interior peace, sometimes at a time in which there is a lot of turmoil in our lives. We are given the inner peace and strength we need to find our way through the turmoil. And of course God speaks to us through other people, especially through those to whom we entrust our souls. This has happened on many occasions in my own life, as I conversed with spiritual directors, good friends, and others whose insights I value.
“Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them: from the cloud came a voice: ‘This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.’” Today, may we listen more attentively to the voice of the Lord.
- Fr. Robin Ryan, C.P.