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Listen to Jesus in the silence

Based on Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18; Rom 8:31b-34; Mk 9:2-10

Faith and trust in God’s love and mercy are highlighted in this Sunday’s readings.

In the Gospel, Jesus invites Peter, James and John to go with him up a mountain to pray. The apostles have been with Jesus a long time – listening to his teaching, watching him pray, seeing him perform miracles and watching crowds of people listen to his every word. 

Jesus has been teaching the apostles who he is and what it means to be his disciples. He told them of his coming suffering, death and Resurrection (Mk 8:31). This greatly troubles and confuses the apostles.

As he prays, Jesus is transfigured (changed) right before their eyes. His face shines as bright and radiant as the sun, and his clothes become whiter and more dazzling than new-fallen snow.

Moses and Elijah appear and begin talking to Jesus. Remember who these men were? Moses was given the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and he led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. 

Elijah was a prophet, a person who speaks in God’s name and delivers God’s message to people. He warned people to follow God’s law and not to disobey God.

The three apostles are overwhelmed. Jesus is giving them a glimpse of his divine glory. A cloud covers them and out of the cloud the apostles hear a voice saying, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!”

Jesus allowed Peter, James and John to preview his Resurrection, to build up their faith that he is truly the Son of God. 

“Listen to him!” That’s what God tells us, too – not as a warning, but because the words Jesus speaks are words about life. We can hear Jesus through the Mass, through reading Scripture, through the love and kindness of people around us and through the wonders and beauty of nature. Jesus speaks to others through us, too.

We can hear Jesus speak to our hearts during prayer. But, we need a quiet place to be alone with him (our “desert” prayer space) – away from the constant noise from TV, computers, all other electronic media, telephones, radios, traffic, etc. – to hear Jesus’ voice. In the silence, “Listen to him!”