Transfigured by Christ and bothered by the Holy Spirit!


Each Sunday of Lent catapults us into a different stage of Christian journey. From the desert of temptation in last week's liturgy, we move to the Mount of Transfiguration. The desert is a place of passage to get to our destination. No-one aspires to live in the desert. Peter, James and John try to stay on Mount Tabor: "Lord, it is good for us to stay here, let us build three tents." But similarly, the mountain is not the destination. We move onwards, fortified by the experience of being with Jesus. There is a small but very significant phrase: "The disciples looked up and saw only Jesus." Only Jesus. Are we able to see 'only Jesus'? ? Are we able to live only for Jesus? Is all that matters to us, only Jesus? How different would our lives be if our permanent focus was only Jesus, the measuring stick for all that we do, the moral, spiritual and emotional compass in our lives?

But this would mean making changes in our lives. Filtering through all the clutter and getting rid of it, calling sin by its name and irradiating it. Only Jesus. Loving others as Jesus would love them. Only Jesus. Be a voice of truth, hope and justice when there is only silence. Only Jesus.
It means moving out of our comfort zones. And we don't like that either.

As Pope Francis reminds us: "To put it simply: the Holy Spirit bothers us. Because he moves us, he makes us walk, he pushes the Church to go forward. And we are like Peter at the Transfiguration: 'Ah, how wonderful it is to be here like this, all together!' ... But don't bother us. We want the Holy Spirit to doze off ... we want to domesticate the Holy Spirit. And that's no good. because he is God, he is that wind which comes and goes and you don't know where. He is the power of God, he is the one who gives us consolation and strength to move forward. But: to move forward! And this bothers us. It's so much nicer to be comfortable.”   ― Pope Francis, Encountering Truth: Meeting God in the Everyday

However, every little change which we make to conform our lives to Jesus is worth it. The first and second readings promise us that. "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you;  I will make your name great,so that you will be a blessing. " (First Reading). And then the second reading: " Beloved: Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. He saved us and called us to a holy life."

I came across this poem from an Anglican priest about the Transfiguration.
" For that one moment, ‘in and out of time’,
On that one mountain where all moments meet,
The daily veil that covers the sublime
In darkling glass fell dazzled at his feet.
There were no angels full of eyes and wings
Just living glory full of truth and grace.
The Love that dances at the heart of things
Shone out upon us from a human face
And to that light the light in us leaped up,
We felt it quicken somewhere deep within,
A sudden blaze of long-extinguished hope
Trembled and tingled through the tender skin.
Nor can this this blackened sky, this darkened scar
Eclipse that glimpse of how things really are." (Malcolm Guite)

Yes, my friends,  we are beloved, we are called to be holy. But before that, we need to be transfigured. Continued blessings on your Lenten journey.

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