Listen to Him (Be Present)

August 6, 2019 – Feast of the Transfiguration

Each day, I reflect upon a word or a phrase from the readings of the day. I encourage you to do the same and perhaps incorporate that word or phrase into your daily prayer.

Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” (Mark 9:2-10)

LISTEN TO HIM: 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, listen to him.”

Embrace the moment.

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