August 6th: Feast of the Transfiguration
Dear Parish Family,
This weekend, we take a break from Ordinary Time to celebrate the Transfiguration of Our Lord. St. John Paul II Said that the Transfiguration is a glimpse of the glory of God. In addition to seeing Moses and Elijah and the Glory of God shining through the face of Jesus, something else of great importance occurred on Mt. Tabor that day. The Three Apostles heard the voice of God the Father say, “This is my beloved Son, Listen to him.”
Listen to him. It seems like such an easy, straight-forward command, yet it seems so very difficult for so many of us much of the time. Listening seems like one of the easiest things for us to do. After all, God gave most of us two good ears, so we should listen twice as much as we speak since we only have one mouth. However, truth be told, many of us are not very good listeners; and not because we are hard of hearing or deaf. Listening effectively can be a lot of hard work.
Why are many of us not good listeners? One reason might be because we are too busy doing all the talking. Often in our prayer life we talk and talk to God, or maybe at God, without letting God get a word in. God is not the ultimate “customer service department” whom we call whenever we are in need. God is the Creator of all, and our loving Father. He wants a relationship with us. He knows what is for our best, even when it looks not so good to us. We need to listen to Him, for doing so will lead to spiritual growth, which will allow us to become more aware of reality and to deal with it more effectively. “Listening make us open to Christ, the Word of God, spoken in all things: in the material world, the Scriptures, the Church and sacraments and sometimes most threateningly in our fellow human beings” (Fr. Benedict Groeschel). St. John of the Cross once pointed out that many of the people who think they are listening to God are actually only listening to themselves. We need to pray that we may pray. God has no need or our prayer, in fact the very desire to pray is a gift from God. St. Paul noted in one of his epistles that ofen we do not know how to pray as we should, thus it is important to ask the Holy Spirit for the grace of prayer.
All of this requires effort on our part. We need to make time and space for prayer. Fr. Groeschel suggest that we start of first offering to the Lord some prayer that we know by heart—say the Our Father or Hail Mary-and include a petition, either for ourselves or a loved one. But then we should just relax and ponder what we have just done. We, a finite being, have just spoken to the infinite and living God. Wow! Really listen to God— to Father, Son and Holy Spirit-speaking to us in the Scriptures and the sacraments, and the ordinary moments of our lives. Listen to Him, and God will help us “surrender our preconceived Notions and fantasies, to go beyond our defenses and shallow expectations, to be lifted on the eagle wings of grace” (Benedict Groeschel). Jesus promises that the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened, and for the disciple who makes the effort to listen, the Kingdom of God will be revealed. Listen to Him! (frjcm.us)
I saw Father Bill Spencer last weekend. He is scheduled to start immune therapy soon. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.
If you are interested in venerating the relics of Padre Pio in Saginaw on September 29 or in going to the beatification of Solanus Casey at Ford Field on November 18, please let me know.
If anyone would like to plan a funeral, please contact me.
God bless you all!
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG