Thoughts for Your Consideration March 1

Thoughts for Your Consideration

th4The gospel story of the transfiguration is about seeing in a new way.

Gospel Mk 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.  And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.  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.”  Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.  So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

In the midst of our complex contemporary world, the gospel of Jesus Christ invites us to be free enough to see things in a new way.

In the midst of war and violence, the gospel invites us to see the presence of God and to hear God’s invitation to peace.

In the midst of poverty and injustice, the gospel invites us to hear God’s invitation to respect the dignity of every human person and the need for justice for all people.

In the midst of economic injustice and inequality, the gospel invites us to focus on those values that are really most important and to focus on something bigger than ourselves.

In the midst of human activity that damages our planet and changes the climate, we are called to respect the planet, live simply, and focus on what is really important.

Abraham learned to hear God’s desires in a new way; he came to see that God did not want the death of his son.  Maybe, in some analogous way, we have been learning to understand the social implications of the gospel.  Maybe we have been learning the same thing, as we have been learning to challenge war as the solution to disputes and to question the policies of our nations.  Maybe we have been learning the same thing, as our church is beginning to move away from support for the death penalty. Maybe we have been learning the same thing as we have been learning to speak up for justice for all those who are oppressed in any way.  Maybe we have come to see that war and injustice, poverty and hunger, do not have to be.

The Transfiguration is a sign of great hope. It is possible to see the presence of God in Jesus. It is possible to see things in a new way.  It is possible to see God in others. It is possible to let go of racism, to let go of an addiction to money, to let go of power and control, to let go of violence, to let go of inaction, to let go of our blindness and selfishness. It is possible to solve international problems without war. It is even possible to let go of the religious experience on the mountain and come down and find God in all things and all people.  It is possible to see the world as a global community and to see all people as our brothers and sisters.

 

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

  • How has your awareness and commitment to Christian values changed over the years?
  • How have you grown in your commitment to social issues?
  • To issues of peace and justice?
  • This Lent, how is God calling you to see things in a new way – from a new point of view?
  • What is your experience of working with immigrants and refugees?
  • Do you know any?  How have they taught you to know or see?
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