Death, and taxes, and many things in between terrify us every day of our lives. All of us live with some degree of anxiety, fatigue, or depression. This makes trusting God very difficult—too much can go wrong! But even those closest to Jesus weren’t quick to trust.
In the gospel today, Jesus frightens the apostles with quite an other-worldly experience. First, they see Jesus blindingly transformed by light. Then they see Jesus talking with two ancient prophets, who had been dead for over 1000 years! Peter was speechless, and it says, “They were terrified.”
But Jesus doesn’t rush to comfort or reassure them, because he knows that they don’t yet see the whole picture—they are terrified only because they do not yet believe they can trust the unknown to God. The answer to all of our stress and worry lies in God’s own words today: “This is My Beloved Son—listen to him!”
First, we might have to add “Stop” and “Look.” Stop the inner chatter, and the outer noise, just for a while. Look, really look with time and focus and attention, at the person talking to you, the task at hand, the cat in your lap. Now you can Listen: Listening is a decision to receive with open hands whatever God is giving you .
Jesus did not explain every detail to the apostles, because he knew that the God of all life was trustworthy—and that is enough, for them, and for us. Yes, we will have fears, because there is evil in the world (the most recent being the horrific shooting of the high schools students in Parkland, Florida). But Jesus trusted God with the deepest and the most vulnerable places of his heart. If we listen, Jesus will teach us how to trust that way. Jesus, I Trust in You.
Lenten Prayer: “Lord, Holy Father, show us what kind of man it is who is hanging for our sakes on the cross, whose suffering causes the rocks themselves to crack and crumble with compassion, whose death bring the dead back to life. Let my heart crack and crumble at the sight of him. Let my soul break apart with compassion for his suffering. Let it be shattered with grief at my sins for which he dies. And finally let it be softened with devoted love for him. Amen. (St. Bonaventure). Let us pray for one another and our parish family as we continue on our Lenten journey to conversion of heart. May God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish