From the Pastor's Pen - Listen to Him
LISTEN TO HIM—Last Sunday, the gospel was the shocking event of the Transfiguration. Why shocking? Well, it certainly was for the apostles, who were just walking along dusty roads from place to place with Jesus when this happened.
It’s also shocking for us, because it happens in Lent! and early in Lent. While we may think of it as a dark, penitential time, the church from ancient times has presented this glorious vision of Christ for our Lent. Early writers of the church said this was done for the apostles, and us, to “strengthen us for the scandal of the cross”. In other words, to give us hope that any sacrifices we make, in Lent or in our actual living, lead to rising with Christ.
The Ladies ACTS Retreat last week was based on this Sunday’s Gospel. The theme of the retreat was the words of the Father from the cloud, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!” It was a great joy to be with the 30 women of our parish and other parishes, exploring around the ways we have to hear his voice. Great witnesses were given about faith and courage in the midst of suffering; and there was singing and fun, and good food. We all owe thanks to the very hardworking team who put on the retreat, and to the 8 ladies from our parish and St. Norbert’s who were first-time attenders.
We’re just now getting into the heart of Lent. The weeks 3 through 5 have core stories of conversion. Don’t let the opportunity pass. Last Wednesday, at the first Night of Recollection, it was a joy to share with around 50 of our people about the Trinity dwelling within each of us. I’ve heard people say since then, “I didn’t know that”, or “It’s been a long time since I heard that.
One last witness: We recently celebrated the funeral of a faithful parishioner, Pearl Salazar. One of her daughters recalled that when she was little, she told her mother, “I love you and Daddy more than anything!” Pearl immediately told her, “No! You must love Jesus more! Everything comes from Jesus.” hmmm . . .