I am pleased to present this guest post from
Father Steven LaBaire, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Worcester, MA.
This Sunday’s gospel tells us that Jesus led Peter, James and John up a high mountain (Luke 9:28-26) to pray. Apparently the three disciples got a bit sleepy, however. (Maybe all that mountain climbing was tiring.)
Nonetheless, we’re told that “becoming fully awake,” they got to see Jesus in a new light.
They “saw” him in a way they never before experienced. And, a voice beckoned them to “Listen, to my chosen Son.”
Words will never adequately describe what Peter, James and John experienced that day.
These three “students” of Jesus probably couldn’t grasp the meaning of it all either. It would take some time to take it all in.
But this much is sure: They “woke up;” they became fully awake and were able to “see” Christ in a new way.
The Church in her wisdom has told this story at the beginning of Lent for centuries.
Why? Because Lent should be about “waking up” and seeing things (especially our faith) in a “new way.”
Where in life might we possibly be “snoozing” and unaware of what’s really going on?
Our marriages? Our kids? Our health? Our relationships? Our parish?
And while the gospel doesn’t give a quick “wake up” remedy, it does imply that opening our eyes will involve moving beyond our comfort zones—like the strenuous workout of a mountain climb.
–You need to get to the mountain top in order to appreciate the view and “take in” the vista. (Usually not much of a “view” at the comfy lodge at the foot of the mountain!)
“Seeing in a new way,” is the fruit of prayer. If prayer is stretching our hearts and minds to see things as God sees them, then prayer will push us beyond our ourselves and challenge us to look at the bigger picture of our lives and the world. Prayer will dare us to gaze even into the “beyond” of eternity.
Oh, and another thing: We tell this story because, sometimes we “snooze,” the wider Church snoozes too.
The Church, in all her structures and organizations, during Lent, is being challenged to “become fully awake” and listen more attentively to Christ.
So, what have you chosen to do for Lent this year?
Whatever it is, do you think it will “wake you up” to life? (If it don’t think it will, there’s still time to change what you’ve chosen.)
Alert to what’s happening around us, may we hear Christ calling us to be bold visionaries for life’s journey.
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