Today's Gospel amazes me. Peter, James and John are special friends and constant companions of Jesus. They live with him, they travel with him. Time and again they watch him heal people's bodies and spirits. They hear him teach wisely and speak courageously in the face of many dangers. They witness his awesome miracles over nature and his easy familiarity with the human heart. They are his trusted companions. Yet they still aren't sure who Jesus is and what he is about.
So in today's Gospel, Jesus takes these three trusted disciples up a mountainside and literally shines a light on himself, from inside out : a phenomenon we call "Transfiguration." I believe Jesus is trying desperately to break through to his disciples, to focus their attention, to raise their awareness of himself and his mission. Every time I read this Gospel, I am amazed that these disciples are having a hard time figuring Jesus out. Certainly, I say to myself, if I had the privilege of accompanying Jesus as they did, I'd have figured him out; and I wouldn't need a special, out-of-the-ordinary "Transfiguration" experience to do it. But then, I think again... oh yeah, I would!
But here's the problem: if we are waiting for God to energize us in some marvelous, miraculous manner, one that knocks us down and takes our breath away, we miss the daily wonders all around us. There's a poem illustrating this very point, one entitled: God, Speak to Me!" It reads:
The man whispered, "God, speak to me," and a bluebird sang her song nearby, but the man did not listen.
So the man then yelled aloud, "God, speak to me!" and a mighty thunder rolled across the sky, but the man did not hear.
Then the man demanded, "God, let me see you!" Just then, the night clouds parted and a full moon lit up the earth in a soft, warm glow, but the man did not look.
So the man cried out in great despair, "Touch me, God, and let me know you are here!" Whereupon, God reached out and touched him; but the man brushed away God's butterfly, and walked away with a desolate heart.
All creation : the song of a bluebird, the peel of thunder across a stormy sky, the brightness of a full moon, the flight of a butterfly : all creation reflects the miracle of Abba God's boundless love for us. Every day in every way, God's blessings are meant to transform us. Why don't they? Because we have to raise our awareness to understand God's ways. If we don't, then we too will be walking away with desolate hearts. We should not miss out on any of God's blessings simply because they are packaged in ways we least expect. If we are sleepyheads, we need to awaken from our sleep and recognize God's many wonders : wonders that surround us all the time.