Wednesday, February 20, 2008

But I don't want to change!

February 17, 2008
Second Sunday of Lent
The Transfiguration

Mass Readings:
Genesis 12:1-4a
2 Timothy 1:8b-10
Matthew 17:1-9

The Transfiguration is something that always make me take a long look at myself. The Transfiguration is all about one very small word, CHANGE. Six letters that are sometimes frustrating and maddening. I don't like change yet here I am in an vocation that is all about change. Here we all are facing the merger of our five parishes into one. There's change for you! We all are facing something that is scary but exciting, draining yet life giving. Change can be both fun and torturous at the same time.

The Transfiguration is all about change. Jesus has been preparing the disciples for a life shattering change, his crucifixion. Yet the disciples are not really grasping what is about to happen. Jesus takes the three disciples up to the mountain to witness change. Jesus is ministered to by Moses and Elijah, the Law and the Prophets. Everything is about to change because of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus' ministry would make complete the Law and the cry of the Prophets. Jesus was preparing to change the world and bring God's saving work to completion.

So what happens? Well, Jesus is strengthened by the Father and Moses (The Law) and Elijah (The Prophets) come so that Jesus is ready for the torturous task at hand. The three disciples were understandably shaken. Peter is so enraptured with the events that he purposes a solution so that nothing has to change. Peter will have them build three dwellings so that Jesus, Moses and Elijah can stay on the mountain top forever and then the disciples and Jesus' other followers can come and bask in this glory forever! Sounds great except for the fact that all mountain top experiences are temporary. Jesus wants the disciples to take this experience, learn from it, grow from it so that they can go forth and be agents of change and proclaim the good news of salvation.

Every day we are faced with having to either accept or resist change. The one thing we know is inevitable is change. Whether that change is pleasing or painful, expected or unannounced, it will happen regardless. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, we discover that we change. As we learn more from God's Word, we find that we are being called to do things differently and new. As we plunge deeper into a life of prayer we see that Jesus is calling us to be more involved with proclaiming his Good News! To be a disciple is to be willing to accept whatever Jesus asks us to do and be. That means we must be open to change.

The disciples on the mountain top with Jesus would come to understand what the Transfiguration was all about. Jesus was prepared for the horrifying change of stepping up to the cross. The Law and the Prophets, all that had been proclaimed through the centuries had arrived and the world was about to change. A wave was about to sweep over humanity and it's wake would change every human being. Nothing would ever be the same again and thank God for that! The world has been transformed and God invites us daily to draw closer to His Son and receive the goodness of salvation. Then, God asks us to listen to His Son and be willing to say yes to the call. Saying yes will lead us into new and ever changing things and we will be given the strength to accept and flourish in those changes.

We have all been to the mountain top when we were saved and now Jesus asks us to go forth and change the world.