Dear Parish Family,
If you are anything like me, it’s so easy to get sidetracked on our many tasks and can lose track of time. Even more so when we may be doing something you really enjoy, such as reading a good book, binging on Netflix or sleeping in the morning. My alarm clock is my best tool to make sure I am up in the morning and where I need to be on time. To help me manage my time on my busy days when I have time sensitive tasks, I recently started to use the alarms on my cell. Since I have begun this new habit, I get my most important tasks done on time, and on occasions I surprise myself that I may have some time to spare. I bring this up only because I think that at times we need tools to help us, to make sure we are awake and alert to what comes next.
In our Gospel today, Peter and John and James went with Jesus to the mountain to pray. Yet while Jesus prayed, his disciples fell asleep. Had they not woken up on time, they would have missed seeing Jesus in his Glory. They would not have heard God’s voice say, “This is my chosen Son; Listen to him.” It was through God’s grace they did wake up on time, and were able to experience Jesus’ Transfiguration. They were given the opportunity to see his divinity.
Our lives can be like this, where we too fall asleep, letting everything else distract us and not keep us from recognizing Jesus is always with us. God desires us to see him, but we must be willing to see. During the season of Lent, through the practices of Fasting from food and habits, Prayer and Almsgiving, can be like our alarm clocks to “wake up.” Through these practices they can lead us to see and feel Jesus more clearly and to listen to what he tells us. As we fast, and experience hunger, it awakens our awareness of the hunger and needs of others. As we pray, especially with the scriptures, we learn to hear God’s voice and his desires for us. We learn to see Jesus in our brothers and sisters; through almsgiving we seek to meet their needs. “What you do for the least of your brothers, you do for me.”
God gave us the Transfiguration to let us know what we have to look forward to at the end of our lives. We know that after we’ve done our best down here on earth — at the bottom of the mountain — and if we die in a state of grace, we can look forward to seeing Christ in all His glory, as He was at the Transfiguration. Only after we go through this difficult life, can we enjoy the glory of Easter.