Sunday, March 12, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

Quote of the Week: “A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.” — Anonymous.

“Listen! If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts! Listen!”

The Transfiguration of Matthew sends an important message not only to the disciples who shared the moment with Jesus, but to all of us – every Christian.

Jesus took three disciples with him up the mountain, the place where sacred things occurred; there they experienced God’s presence. Moses and Elijah appeared standing near Jesus. Immediately, Peter felt the need to do something; he wasn’t content or peaceful enough to just take in the experience, and it wasn’t enough to simply receive what God was clearly giving to them. He wasn’t aware that, in that moment, God was calling him.

So while Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them all. In fear, the disciples fell face down on the ground. A voice — the voice — of God spoke: “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.”

Jesus then touched them saying: “Get up and do not be afraid.” When they did get up, they saw just Jesus.

What a scene, what a moment! The amazing and the ordinary stood side by side. Visions of prophets, a glorified transfiguration, bright lights, and voices, all streamed together to call the disciples deeper into the mystery of God revealed in Jesus.

This scene was calling the disciples to faith. Initially, they feared, because it really was too much. But at the gentle touch of Jesus, the disciples were once again called not to fear but to have faith.

This whole experience was a very deep call to enter more deeply into the unfolding mystery of Jesus who asked for the mystery to be fulfilled before they shared it with others.

How does this story call us? Do we ever experience the voice of God clearly speaking to us in the ordinary? Do we have mountaintop experiences in church, at work, in our family, with neighbors, with friends, or with enemies?

Do we find ourselves fearing, then being touched, only to discover we are being called to faith?

Grace is, indeed, amazing. God is always at work in all things. Faith leads us to see and understand in new ways; to be open, waiting, wanting, seeking is the attitude we need to experience those little mountaintop moments again and again.
Not fear, but faith!

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email perry.leiker@gmail.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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