Have you ever heard an amazing homily that just hits you right in the head and heart? Today was one of those days for me. Our parish is blessed with an amazing homilist priest that is able to share in depth exogesis that is relatable and brings the past to the present on a historical and spiritual level (and beyond). As a lifelong Catholic, I have heard many homilies on the Transfiguration on that certain Sunday but this one struck me.
This Sunday, we heard the story of Jesus going up the mountain, having the disciples witness Him fully illuminated as well as seeing Moses and Elijah appearing alongside. This is quite a story in and of itself and I have usually focused on the experience from the disciples' perspective. I almost forgot that we read God the Father says that this is His Son, whom He loves and is well pleased, and commands us to listen to Him. Somehow I missed that very last detail or instruction from God in that passage (Matt. 17: 5). I also missed what our priest highlighted specifically about what happened next.
The transfiguration was miraculous, holy and life changing for the disciples who witnessed it, we can well imagine. Peter, James and John had no idea what awaited them after a four hour mountain climb. This is so significant that it is now one of the luminous mysteries in the Holy Rosary. But what happened next? The Gospel tells us that right after this splendor, Jesus goes right back to 'work'. He begins working miracles immediately after coming down from the mountain top. Jesus' first recorded miracle after this was healing a man that was blind and deaf. I hadn't thought of the direct connection between God's instruction to listen to Jesus and Jesus immediately finding a person who could not hear. It says that the first thing Jesus does is to take the man away from the crowd and puts His finger in the man's ear. What can I learn from this? Where am I in this story?
Theoretically, am I the person who can not hear? I am a big believer in the voice of God coming to me through others, in my own reflection time, spiritual reading, liturgy, etc. Even though I believe this and experience this, I sometimes put off the message or voice of God. I may feel a call to a deeper prayer life, fasting, generosity or other ways I can serve Jesus in my current life. It can feel so clear and convicting and yet, I still stubbornly push it off to the side. I refuse to listen. The act of pulling the man away from the crowd before healing him seemed a profound detail as well. I am often so caught up in the crowd or voices, whether that be in person or online. We have apps that are addicting and we find hard to pull away from. Can Jesus speak to us with our eyes and ears so caught up in our social media, email or the like. When Jesus puts His fingers directly into the mans' ears, our priest likened it to Jesus directly 'plugging in' to connect and heal him. Do I allow Jesus to directly connect with me or do I hide in the noise of my daily life and activities?
I feel a call to be transfigured now myself, in my own way, the way the deaf and blind man allowed Jesus to transform him with a profound healing. Jesus continues to reach out to us, in our own blindness and deafness to his call. I am so grateful that each day the Lord comes to me and tries to connect with me. Allow Jesus to pull you away from the crowd sometime to plug in to His healing grace and power.