Tuesday, March 7, 2017

People of the Cloud!

The Transfiguration

Reflections for the Second Sunday of Lent
Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult--once we truly understand and accept it--then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. Scott Peck

To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. Pema Chodron 

Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don't know it, are asleep. They're born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, and they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing we call human existence.                Anthony de Mello    

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus has taken his BFF’s  up the high mountain. It was believed that on mountains there one could go when seeking a special relationship with God.  Here on this mountain, Jesus stands with two prophets, Moses, “the liberator” and Elijah, “the troubler of Israel.”  On this holy mountain, Jesus bursts forth into a presence that overwhelmed the disciples.  Jesus turned into a radiant laser-like beam of energy!

The voice within the cloud directs the disciples to listen to God’s Beloved – “not just here on the mountain top – but on the plains of challenge and within the valleys where the people of God experience hunger, injustice, poverty and exploitation at the hands of the powers that be.”

The Transfiguration is a moment of glory commissioning us all and empowering us to live in the presence of God and to see the radiance of that presence in all the events of our lives: the people, the cosmos, and in ourselves.  Initially, the disciples were overcome by sleep, yet with this “explosion” of divine energy, they were awake . . . wide-eyed awake!

By our Baptism, we are all called to be “people of the cloud.”  We are invited to listen, and to be wide-eyed awake to express something of God through our lives. Through us, God wants to say something to this world.  Our task is to radiate the image of God and let it shine through us by our compassion, our healing, our understanding, and our willingness to be transformed.  It is said, that the purpose of life is not to be happy.  The purpose of life is to matter, to have it make a difference that you lived at all.  Our Baptism is the gift in which we choose to live out our purpose and it is the purpose of every human being to give God glory simply by being who we are with all our potential.

In an ancient story, it is told of an old pilgrim who was making his way to the Himalayan Mountains in the bitter cold of winter when it began to rain.  An innkeeper said to him, “How will you ever get there in this kind of weather, my good man?” The old man answered cheerfully, “My heart got there first, so it’s easy for the rest of me to follow.”

So let us be open to the graces of these readings:

• Let us take up the challenge to be prophetic voices, “people of the cloud” and to speak for the least, the last and the lost. 
• Let us take up the challenge to not stay in the comfort of the present, but with an urgency move with the mission of Jesus into a future full of mystery, paradox, ambiguity, wonder, and wisdom.
• Finally, let us get up, look up - and see only Jesus, and not be afraid to follow our heart’s purpose and may we allow the light of God to shine in us, through us and to transform us and our world.

(Previously posted 2/2013)

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