Greek Christ Icon, Pallotti-Huus, Niederuzwil, Schweiz - Photo: Sr. Maria Dörig
Some years ago young people in Switzerland were asked the following question:
“What do you think of Jesus Christ?”
This one answer has deeply impressed me:
“What do I think of Christ? That he is one who keeps me!”
Numbers 11:4b-15; Matthew 14:13-21
The Israelites are roaming around the desert working their way to the Promised Land. They are learning to be dependent on God. First they grumble about water, and now they are grumbling about food. They weren't hungry, but they weren't satisfied. They had full stomachs, but they craved greater variety and "better" food than what the manna provided.
Were the Israelites intentionally ungrateful, unsatisfied, unwilling to accept the gift they received for what it was and not what they wanted it to be? Probably not. They were just human, reacting on a sensory level instead of on a spiritual level. They were overly concerned with the immediate and did not have enough concern for the bigger picture. They were so blinded by the desire to have better food that they forgot the price they paid for the food was the loss of their freedom!
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; 2 Peter 1:16-19; Matthew 17:1-9
Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.
You will do well to be attentive to it,
as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2Pt 1:19
Today is the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. I am struck at the juxtaposition of the glorious and the intimate in the readings today – and how that mix leads to change for mission. The readings have many majestic images of kingship and glory. However, they also offer intimate images of relationship in the giving of authority, advice, and explicit recognition that Jesus is beloved. We can meditate on these knowing that we now carry that mantle of beloved. In my hurried days I know I too often read the readings searching for the “to do” and don’t spend sufficient time just dwelling on the majestic images and reveling in the intimate love expressed in the scriptures. Today, I want to commit to coming back to these images throughout the day – to be attentive to them.