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This Sunday

LISTEN TO HIM

LISTEN TO HIM - March 1, 2015

Children are told many things as they are growing up.

For example, their parents tell them to say thank you, to look both ways before crossing the street, to keep their room clean, to be nice to the kids at school, to do their homework, and so on.

Children are also told to listen. They most likely hear that instruction more than any another. A father tells his children, “Listen to your mother.” A mother tells her children, “Listen to your father.” And both parents sternly tell their children, “Listen when we’re talking to you.”

Parents also tell their children, “Listen to your teachers.” “Listen to the police officer.” “Listen to your coach.” “Listen to your grandparents.” “Listen to the babysitter when we’re out.” “Listen when the priest is talking at Mass.” “Listen to your elders.”

When children do what they are told and listen to the people who have their best interests in mind, they avoid getting into trouble and they act in ways that benefit themselves and others.

In this Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 9:2-10), we are told to listen, not by our parents, but rather by our heavenly Father. When Jesus is transfigured in glory the voice of the Father is heard as it was at the baptism of Jesus. In both cases, the voice from the heavens declares, “This is my beloved Son.” But in Sunday’s Gospel, the voice goes on to say, “Listen to him.”

When Jesus is transfigured and shines with divine glory, Moses and Elijah appear with him. These great figures represent the Law and Prophets. They represent the teachings that the Chosen People were to listen to and obey. Those figures recede and Jesus is declared as the one to whom we are to listen. Jesus fulfills and surpasses the Law and the Prophets. God now tells us, “Listen to him.”

We listen to Jesus when we take his teachings and his example to heart and make them the guide for our own lives. By listening to Jesus we begin to be “transfigured” ourselves. We gradually become those Christian men and women God wants us to be. We shine with holiness.

This Season of Lent challenges us to consider how we are acting, how we are treating others, how we are speaking, how we are spending our money, how we are using our time and talent, and then to examine if our living is in line with the Gospel. Are we truly listening to Jesus or are we listening to ourselves and to other voices?

Parents tell their children to listen because they love them and want them to be the best they can be. That is the very same reason that God the Father tells us to listen. He wants us to listen to his Beloved Son who embodies the truth and who shows us how to find meaning and happiness in this life and everlasting life tomorrow.

Like any loving parent, God wants what is best for his children. That is why he tells us to heed his beloved Son. “Listen to him.”

© 2015 Rev. Thomas B. Iwanowski

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