Saturday, August 05, 2017

“Like the Sun” by Jim Bayne

He received dominion, splendor, and kingship; all nations, peoples, and tongues will serve him. (Dan 7:14)

For you, LORD, are the Most High over all the earth, exalted far above all gods.
(Ps 97:9)

“And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.”  (Mt 17:2)

Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents* here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Mt 17:4)

O God, we open our eyes and we see Jesus,
the months of ministry transfigured to a beam of light,
the light of the world, your light.
May your light shine upon us.

We open our eyes and we see Moses and Elijah,
your word restoring us, showing us the way,
telling a story, your story, his story, our story.
May your word speak to us.

We open our eyes and we see mist, the cloud of your presence
which assures us of all we do not know
and that we do not need to fear that.
Teach us to trust.

We open our eyes and we see Peter’s constructions,
his best plans, our best plans, our missing the point,
our missing the way. 
Forgive our foolishness and sin

We open our eyes and we see Jesus, not casting us off,
but leading us down, leading us out - to ministry, to people.
Your love endures forever.

We open our ears and we hear your voice,
‘This is my beloved Son, listen to him!’
And we give you thanks.  Amen

– prepared by William Loader 2/2001

Three people were invited on three separate occasions into three privileged moments in the life of Jesus. They were handpicked each time. The person who chose them was Our Lord. The three he chose were Peter, James, and John.

The first occasion was the raising of Jairus’ daughter in Mark’s Gospel.  The second occasion was the Transfiguration recorded in today’s Gospel.  The third was the Garden of Gethsemane.

Use the Ignatian method of prayer and Imagine yourself being present at each of these events.  What do you see and hear?

At the Transfiguration, Peter suggests that they build three tents.  Having first observed the daughter Jairus being raised to life and now seeing Jesus in the presence of Moses and Elijah, wouldn’t you also suggest we stop right here?  Lord, let’s just stay right here on the mountain.  We’ve seen enough. No need to go back down there into the valley of darkness.

But Jesus says no; we must go back down the mountain.  Keep what you have seen here under your hat; you’re going to need it later.  We’re occasionally given these moments in the bright light, but they are intended to help us see when we’re back in the dark.  Our place is back in the dark, bringing light to those who live there in the darkness.

Peter James and John would later come to understand why Jesus directed them to save what they had seen on the mountain for later.  The third event in the Garden of Gethsemane and the events that followed could have destroyed them without the light they held in their hearts.  It was the light of the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the bright white light of the Transfiguration that kept their hope alive during the agony in the garden and the crucifixion.  It was that same light that kept hope alive until they saw Jesus on the third day.

Anthony de Mello, SJ was famous for saying “Awareness, Awareness, Awareness.”  We have to be constantly aware of what is going on around us.  It is important to see God at work in the everyday events of life.  Store up those special moments of awareness - our moments close to Christ - because you’re going to need them during those times when you feel the furthest away from Christ.  Those moments of light are what will keep hope alive.

You need those special moments not only for your own well-being.  You need to have them available to share with those you encounter who are living in darkness.  Use your moments close to the Lord to take others up the mountain for a visit with the Lord, Moses, and Elijah.

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