Transfiguration

Today’s Gospel is the Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36) — Paraphrased it goes like this:

Jesus takes Peter, John and James up to the mountain to pray. As usual, they doze off while Jesus prays and is transfigured ( I think transformed might be a good word for the event) as he hears from Moses and Elijah about his mission and what is to come. The sleepyheads come full awake and behold the Jesus in his glory. They of course want to stay in this wonderful time/space and make a memorial. But, God says — “This is my chosen Son. Listen to him.”  In the end, the leave the mountain and keep their mouths shut about what they have seen, at least for the time being.

My first thought was that the Transfiguration says a lot more about the disciples than it does about Jesus. Jesus was still Jesus, but he was being seen in a new light. They began to get a glimpse of what was really happening. They saw the light. They were touched. They began to see differently. And God spoke to them.

Upon a second reading, I begin to see that Jesus was changed — I think that as he prayed, he came to see himself differently and more clearly and that change just couldn’t be hidden. It had to shine. It had to show.

Along my current path, where I find myself questioning the institutional church, its teachings, its functioning, its place in my life I also heard the words that God said: “This is my chosen Son. Listen to him.” In the Gospels, I am having difficulty finding any references to Worship Jesus. I find the verbs listen & follow. It’s proving difficult for me to reconcile the stories of the biblical Jesus with current church practices. I know it must be possible because people like Pope Francis seem to be able to live out the Gospel and still work within the Church.

Still thinking. Still praying. Still seeking.

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2 Responses to Transfiguration

  1. Don Carriker February 21, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

    I understand your confusion as to today’s church teachings. In my opinion I believe that too many younger people (I’m 83) are “over-smarted” and “under-wisdomed.” And I do not mean that as an insult. We are asked to walk by faith just as were the early Christians. They had much less than we have as anchor points for believing The Church. More opinion . . . I believe Satan is extremely cunning and knows exceedingly well how to tempt people and one of the great temptations of our modern age is “We are really much more informed, more intelligent and better able to figure out things” than people of previous generations. My answer for myself and anyone else who chooses to accept it is this: Don’t “overthink” The Church. Accept the Magisterium’s authority. Do that and you will never be held accountable for doing something displeasing to God IF in so doing you were obeying the authority (Magisterium) of The Church. THEY will be held accountable, not you. Just some thoughts from an octogenarian who has traveled a lot of roads, many of which were through dark, lonely, scary places. We live now in a frightening world. Hold fast to “The bark of Peter.”

    • Liz February 21, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

      Don — I’m not so far behind you (I will soon be 63). The older I get, the more I struggle with the church. I am fully aware that the Magisterium is a changeable authority, and more dedicated to maintaining control than the approach I feel called to follow. I am discovering that while I work with Vincentians, and have been formed so much by the charism of St. Vincent de Paul, in my soul, I am probably more in tune with a Franciscan spirituality. Between those 2 lenses, it’s no wonder I find Pope Francis such a beacon in the darkness.

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