I wonder, if I listened very hard, if I would hear a holy voice say I am God’s beloved child.
I wonder how it would change me to live with the knowledge that I am God’s beloved child, that we are all God’s beloved children, that God is pleased and delighted by our presence.
From the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” Matthew 17:5b-8
Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806-1858) Преображение, 1824
When I listen to the Word of God, what do I hear? Peace. Do not be afraid. Love God and your neighbor and yourself. Welcome strangers. Feed the hungry. Shelter the homeless. Do not worry about tomorrow. Forgive your enemies.
Today I will listen to the Lord and be transfigured into a brighter image of God’s love and goodness, kindness and compassion.
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Matthew 17:5
It is a sluggish journey up today’s mountain of pain. Snow is coming again and once it starts, the pain will probably lessen. I hope.
It isn’t exactly hope that keeps me following the Lord up this mountain. It’s more an unwillingness—today—to give up. I’m doing my best to make this climb an opportunity to practice patience and compassion and to put my trust in Jesus.
Maybe it is hope. I keep climbing in the hope of being led to a place of transfiguration, a place of perfect peace, acceptance, and wholeness.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. Mark 9:2
Lecture Diagram 10: Proportion and Design of Part of Raphael’s ‘Transfiguration’. Part of the Turner Bequest to the Tate (1856). By Joseph Mallord William Turner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light. Matthew 17:1-2
The spiritual mountain treks Jesus leads me on are always in proportion to my trust in God’s movement, my faith in the Spirit’s guidance, and my willingness to be transformed into a more exact icon of God’s love and goodness.
The mountain is usually high; I am almost always breathless, sometimes whiney, often overwhelmed. And God’s silent voice revealing the glory of Jesus is my reward.
My dear friend Jerry has exhorted me to let it be known that the Church needs leaders who are more simple, down to earth, and directly connected to the people.
Jesus said, “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” John 13:14-15
Humility is the watchword of the follower of Jesus. Humility allows me to admit my dependence on God, to surrender my life and will to God’s care, to take responsibility for my actions, to reconcile with those I have harmed, to love my neighbor as myself, and to love and forgive my enemies.
Humility allows me to be a trusted servant who does not govern. Humility allows me to welcome the knowledge and wisdom of people from all walks of life. Humility allows me to hear and respond to the cries of the poor, marginalized, abandoned, and abused.
Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:3-5