Monday, August 6, 2012

Listen To Him

This is my beloved Son; listen to Him  (Mk 9:7)
The Transfiguration which we celebrate today was a great blessing to those present with Jesus: Peter, James and John.  In the Transfiguration God the Father showed them Jesus’ glory, and told them who He was, that they might believe their eyes and their ears --- that they might have faith in Him.  I too need more faith. 
Lord, let me receive my sight. (Lk 18:41)
The Transfiguration was about faith.  It was to strengthen the apostle’s faith before the trial which was to come, Jesus’ death on a cross --- and yet despite this miracle, when He WAS on that cross, Peter and James were not there.  And when He rose from the dead and Mary Magdalene told them that He was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe (Mk 16:11).  And even after they had seen him alive after His Resurrection and then watched him rise up to heaven, it was not until after the fire of the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost, that they began to preach what they had seen, what their senses --- and even God the Father --- had told them was true.
This thing called “faith” is a most difficult thing. 
Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe. (Jn 20:29)
Yet there was one who was not present at the Transfiguration, but was there at the foot of the cross.  There was one who didn’t witness all the great miracles, and yet accepted the word --- (was it a dream?) --- the word of an angel.  And when it DID come to pass that His miracles were made public, it was she, in faith, who initiated them.  It was then, when we first heard those words spoken, not by God the Father at the Transfiguration, but by a quiet, faith-filled mother at Cana:  Listen to Him.
I’d like to believe that the apostles were simple fishermen, and that God chose their littleness to show us that we are all important to Him, and that we can all have faith in Him --- even if He must show us over and over again that He can be trusted.  But that is not the faith I pray for.  I pray that I might believe, even without miracles.  I pray for a humble belief in Him, like that of His mother, Mary.
That is the faith I pray for. 
Yesterday I lit a single candle before the statue of Mary.  Then, as I looked up at her beautiful plaster image, I noticed the fresh flowers at its feet.  And I remembered her faith, and all that she had done for me during my life:
Mother, I thank you for never forgetting me.  I look at the beautiful flowers put here for you, but I know they can never do justice to your real beauty.  Your beauty is better shown in the humble bud, from which comes forth the flower.  While these flowers --- and even your Son, God Himself --- give praise to you, it is a praise to your humility.  Life grew within you, that Life may grow eternally.  You accepted the call of an angel, and had faith.
I praise your faith and humility, Mother.  I praise your love of God.  And I praise your love of, even me.  Thank you for, in years past, not forgetting me, even when I forgot myself --- who I was, and what I was meant for.  Even when I failed miserably, you prayed for me.  I know that, and I know “that’s just what mothers do,” but still, thank you.
This day I lit one candle.  I ask you to pray for an end to abortion and a cure for autism --- pray for our children --- and I ask you to pray for our country.  When things appeared darkest, you had faith and were at Jesus’ side; be at our side now, my dear Mother.
Pray that our faith might be strengthened, even without seeing miracles.  And pray that we might, humbly, “Listen to Him.”

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