Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“THIS IS MY BELOVED SON…LISTEN TO HIM” (Mt 17:5).
A peanuts cartoon showed Schroeder holding a record of Braham’s Fourth Symphony. “What are you going to do with it?” asks Lucy. “Listen to it,” says Schroeder. “You mean dance to it?” asks Lucy. “No, just listen to it,” says Schroeder. “You mean sing along with it?” asks Lucy. “No, just listen to it,” says Schroeder. “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard of,” says Lucy.
We often find it hard to listen to something that can happen with the Word of God as well. In today’s gospel for the Feast of the Transfiguration Peter, James and John are led up a high mountain where an extraordinary event takes place. Before their very eyes, Jesus was transfigured, his clothes became dazzling white and Moses and Elijah (symbols of the “Old” Law and the Prophets) appeared in conversation with him. Out of the cloud, covering the apostles in shadow, came a voice, the voice of the Eternal Father, addressing them in these words: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
This same voice was heard at the beginning of Jesus’ mission, at his baptism in the Jordan: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Mt 3:13-17; Lk 3:21-22; Mk 1:9-11). This time the Father is addressing the disciples of Jesus and all of us, inviting us to listen to his Son. So where do we find Jesus’ words? His words are in the Gospel, but he speaks in other ways as well. How can we recognize his voice, distinguishing it from many others? There is a special moment he speaks to us and that is in prayer. And the more we seek to love God present in our heart, the more his voice makes itself heard and the more it guides us from deep within. The encounters of our day can be an opportunity to listen if in our contacts with others we try to be like a loving silence fully open to the other, whoever he or she may be, because he conceals himself in every human being. At times this is the only way we have to show attention to people around us, even strangers. His voice is also heard when he is present among us through mutual love. Also the gospels speak of listening to those he sends: “Whoever listens to you listens to me” (Lk 10:16). They were the 72 disciples. Today it refers to those who have been entrusted in a special way with his message, his ministers, who proclaim the Word of God. There are also “witnesses” of Jesus who, by listening to his word and putting it into practice bring it into the workplace of society and open people’s hearts to it. To sum up, this one voice of Jesus is addressed to us in many ways: in the innermost part of our heart and from the mouths of brothers and sisters, from the pulpit of a church, and from the pages of his Gospel.
God bless you,