What happens when we don’t listen? I mean when we don’t really listen to our spouse, to our parents, to our supervisors at work, to our teachers at school, to the TSA officers as you are getting ready to go through the screening?
What happens when you don’t listen to Jesus and his Church?
The Church in her great wisdom always leads us into Lent by following Jesus into the desert, recognizing that we too must face the temptations and the lures of Satan and enter into the spiritual battle.
But the Church does not leave us in the desert. Each second Sunday of Lent the Church invites us to follow Jesus together with Peter, James and John to ascend the mountain to experience the glory and the mystery of the Transfiguration.
We are invited to ascend, to go higher, to go apart, and to enter into mystery. “And from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’”
“Listen to him.”
Listening to Jesus in our everyday lives can be so difficult. That is why we need to ascend, to go to a place where we can listen, where we can pray, where we can experience the glory, the mystery and the truth of Jesus Christ, the love of the Father and the guidance and the strength of the Holy Spirit.
I invite you for the next 3 ½ minutes to ascend and to listen, to listen deeply to the words and wisdom that these, your fellow parishioners, your brothers and sisters have to share with you.
“Listen to him.” Listening is essential to the spiritual journey. Listening as we read sacred Scripture. Listening in our small groups. Listening to the words of consecration when God the Father speaks these words once again:
“This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
Listening when heaven and earth unite in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
Are we listening to these words or are we looking at our watch for that text message that just came in, or if we’re going to have enough time to get to whatever it is that seems so important.
Are we listening or are we thinking about what we’re going to have for breakfast or brunch, or what’s on the shopping list, or how COVID-19 is going to affect my life?
Each Sunday we are invited by Jesus to ascend, to go higher, to experience the miracle of Transfiguration and transubstantiation in Holy Eucharist. We don’t ever get closer to Jesus Christ than when we receive him in Holy Communion. No wonder then that spending time in adoration and prayer is so important.
But we can’t stay there. We can’t build three tents. We can’t live in the Adoration Chapel!
We must descend. We must enter back into life with all of its challenges, all of its responsibilities and all of its possibilities of listening to Jesus in every moment of our lives.
As Pope Francis says, “Encounter with God in prayer inspires us anew to ‘descend the mountain’ and return to the plain where we meet many who are weighed down by fatigue, sickness, injustice, ignorance and both material and spiritual poverty. To these persons in difficulty, we are called to bear the fruit of that experience with God in prayer, by sharing the grace we have received.
“When we listen to the Word of Jesus and carry it in our heart, this Word grows in us when we proclaim it, when we give it to others! And this is what Christian life is. It is a mission for the whole church, for all the baptized, for us all: listen to Jesus and offer him to others.”
I ask you now to please pick up one of these Adoration commitment cards. Take a moment and look at the picture of the monstrance in our adoration Chapel.
Open your heart to the invitation of our Stewardship of Time renewal and hear Jesus telling you that, “‘You belong here’ with me here in prayer, listening to me.”
Please turn it over. If you are already a committed adorer, fill in the top box. If you are ready to make a commitment to be an adorer, please check the bottom box and then fill in your name and your best contact information.
We come and ascend the mountain of Holy Eucharist each Sunday to experience heaven on earth when we receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
Then, we descend the mountain and are sent forth to be Eucharist for others, to share Jesus with others and to listen to Jesus anew in all those that we encounter in our daily lives.
Let us listen to him speaking to our hearts in every encounter this week. Let us listen to him a new.