Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008 ~ Second Sunday of Lent

the flu hit our home; enough said...

Matthew 17: 1-9

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli'jah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah." He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear." And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead." And the disciples asked him, "Then why do the scribes say that first Eli'jah must come?" He replied, "Eli'jah does come, and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Eli'jah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and kneeling before him said, "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him." And Jesus answered, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me." And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?"


We want Heaven NOW! We want the power to cast out demons, too! Sometimes I hear myself talking to Jesus and wonder why He puts up with my whining. I struggle to exorcise it from my kids on a daily basis, because it drives me up the wall! My latest retort - "My name is not 'Moooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!' It's Mommy." But, I digress.

This Gospel reading of the Transfiguration is amazing. Peter, James, and John head up the mountain with Jesus, thinking He's going to take a nap. Instead, they get to witness a glimpse of Heaven on Earth. Obviously, they want to stay and expect that is the plan. Let's build a couple of tents, Lord! This is WAY better than the tough life we live down in the valley! God's voice from Heaven humbles them, however, and reminds them of the gift they have in Jesus.

My favorite part, though, is the ending. The man insists the disciples could not heal his son, and the disciples are also puzzled. Jesus' response is to pity them and, of course, to heal the boy. Yes, if I had said, "How long am I to bear with you?", it would be with a breathy sigh, fed up with the lack of faith. But, I am certain that Christ's voice was gentle, calm, and loving, full of mercy and pity.

Do I whine too much? To co-workers? To my husband? To my children? Do I tolerate the whining of others? Am I grateful for the here and now or am I constantly unsatisfied? It is one thing to seek holiness and yet another to despair that it will never happen.

What glimpses of God's glory do I see in my daily life? When is the last time I pointed out His glory to my children? Do I recognize His Kingdom "under construction" here on Earth? Do I live in this world but not of this world? Do I struggle with being a part of the world and isolate myself too much?

Do I believe ALL things are possible with Christ? What are my doubts? How can I increase my faith? Do I hear Jesus' gentle voice, tolerating my weaknesses and loving me despite myself? When is the last time I sunk into His merciful embrace?

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