How can I listen to Jesus over the next few weeks? What is he telling me?
We all need a quiet place to sit down and listen to Jesus. How often do we do this? Lent is a time of the year to focus more closely on what Jesus has to say to us. We need to have an examination of our conscious. In the Gospel Jesus is transfigured. His face shines like the sun, his clothes become white as light. He is joined by his closest friends, as well as Moses and Elijah. They hear God’s voice from the cloud saying: “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him” (Matthew 17:5). When we listen to Jesus his words have a way of transforming us into someone who is more Christlike. We get a glimpse of who Jesus really is on the mountain. His divinity shines like a bright light. He is God. He is divine and He is human. It reminds us of the sacrifice he made when he became human like.
In just a few weeks after the transfiguration, Jesus will be disfigured. He will be struck, scourged, spat upon, and mocked with a crown of thorns. Spikes will pierce his hands and feet as he is nailed to a cross. His friends will have abandoned him. There will be no voice from a cloud: Jesus will believe himself forsaken by his Father. Bystanders will think he is calling for Elijah.
We are called to accept both visions of his identity: the disfigured Victim, the transfigured Lord. Transfigured today, Jesus becomes disfigured for our sins, to be transfigured in glory in the end. He did this for all mankind to have everlasting life. He made the ultimate sacrifice of His life for our sins and salvation. We all need to take time and listen to Him. What is He trying to tell us?
Deacon Peter Smith serves at St. Mary’s/Holy Family Parish in Alabama, a religion teacher at Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School in Birmingham, and a member of our Passionist Family.