Genesis 12:1-4a 2 Timothy 1:8b-10 Matthew 17:1-9
Every year on the Second Sunday of Lent we hear one of the transfiguration stories from the synoptic gospels. This year we are hearing Matthew’s version. One of the reasons I am particularly fond of this version is the insight it gives us to Peter.
We've all heard the directive, "Don't just stand there! Do something! “
Well, Peter must have thoroughly subscribed to that advice, because in today's reading we hear that he had no sooner seen his master transfigured than he suggested his building project. That was when a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son… Listen to him. “
First, just listen.
Before you decide what you think should be done.… before your hands are in motion before your brain is in gear… First, just listen.
Here we are at the beginning of another Lent. And every good Catholic I know has done some thinking about what he or she should “Do” for Lent.”
And that's good, if the first step has not been skipped…the listening.
May I suggest that we each take some time at the beginning of this holy season to be quiet and to listen prayerfully to what God would like us to do.
God takes soul -shaping seriously. In prayer we may hear about a change God would like us to make in our lives…a habit to drop or a new discipline to undertake. Does the health of our soul require more quiet prayer time? Or are we being called to grow in other ways, outreach to the marginalized, for instance. Maybe we are being asked to grow in understanding of others… To listen to someone whose experience is different from ours.
Obviously, there's room in Lent to do many of these things, one can walk and chew gum at the same time, but first…
Living the gospel
Millions of Catholics worldwide have participated in the synodal process so far, first at the parish level, then diocesan and national levels. Key to the entire effort is listening. Pope Francis believes that the Holy Spirit moves among and within us. Over and over again the Pope uses words like “encounter”, “experience”, “walk with”. Clearly he thinks that part of any future growth in the church which is always reforming, prior to any new direction comes listening to the people of God.
As we encounter others among family, friends, neighbors, other parishioners, may our lives be shaped by that same wisdom.
by: Pat Schnee