August 6, 2019 – Feast of the Transfiguration
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:1-9)
I can relate to Peter. I am a planner. Unfortunately, while an admirable trait in many situations, sometimes being a diehard planner causes me to miss out on the here-and- now. I get so caught up in what’s next that the experience of the moment passes me by.
At our staff retreat a few years back, Fr. Jim presented this as a common human behavior: When we are young, we can’t wait to be in school; soon after we get into grade school, we look ahead to when we’re in high school; we’re not in high school long before we begin anticipating how great college will be; once in college, we look ahead to our career; we begin adult life and anticipate anxiously the time we’ll be married and own a home.
At some point, Fr. Jim said, it goes in reverse. We look back and lament the “good old days” and wish we could experience them again. Actually, not experience them again… experience them for the first time! We were so busy planning and looking ahead that we missed out on the experiences of the moment.
Peter is put in check in today’s gospel. Peter, James, and John had just experienced the beauty and awe of the transfiguration of Jesus. Right away, Peter goes into this-is-what-we-need-to-do mode. However, this time, God steps in.
While Peter was still in mid-sentence planning, God spoke. It was His way of telling Peter, Stop! Stop looking ahead and planning what’s next. Live this moment. Be present to this experience.
Slow down. Allow yourself to experience the here-and-now. To experience God in each precious moment and take in the beauty of the world around you. To experience the gift of family and friends. To be in tune with the needs of others. Be still and know that He is God.“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
Embrace the moment.