Monday, August 06, 2012

Listen to Him

Listen to Him

August 6, 2012
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory, "This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased."  We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain.  Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.  You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.  2 Peter 1:17-19

Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here!  Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."  He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."  Mark 9:5-7


Listen carefully to my instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from one who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice. The labor of obedience will bring you back to one from whom you had drifted through the sloth of disobedience. This message of mine is for you, then, if you are ready to give up your own will, once and for all, and armed with the strong and noble weapons of obedience to do battle for Jesus, the Christ.  (From the "Prologue" to the Holy Rule of St. Benedict.)


We know what happened on the mountain because we have eyewitnesses and ear-witnesses.  Peter, in his typical clumsy fashion, did not really know what to do or say.  God filled in the blanks.
"Listen to him."
We have the rules prescribed in Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus and Ezekiel -- just to name a few of the codes enumerated in the Hebrew Bible.  We have the ten commandments that were so important they were etched in stone.  We have the Golden Rule.  We have the two great commandments.  However, the Bible could in its essence, be summarized in these three words.  Listen to him. 
Before Peter, James and John can know what to do on the mountaintop, they have to get a clue from those in their presence.  They are not told to build any structure.  They are not told to offer any sacrifice.  They are not told to carry out priestly duties.  They are simply told three words -- three challenging words.  Listen to him.
Many of our most loved and most used prayers put listening at the heart of our actions.  We have to listen to Jesus through the words of Scripture in order to know what we are studying.  We have to listen to those who preach and teach.  Before we can glorify God through the way we live our lives, we have to know what God wants from our half of the Covenant. 


There are many places where we can start to learn what the Lord wants of us.  Perhaps an ideal first step is to sit back, remove the distractions of modern life, and simply "Listen to Him."
Who is the voice of Jesus in your life today?  We may not be in the presence of Moses, Elijah and Jesus on the top of a mountain.  However, in their physical absence, someone else is here and will pass their words of wisdom and piety and love on to us.
When we are attentive to the words of Jesus, the morning star rises in our hearts.        

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