Peter, James, and John have what Abraham Maslow called “a peak moment.” A time when, for a few precious seconds. or minutes, or longer, we see an ordinary event in an extraordinary way. God seems to shine through things and we glimpse another world beyond this one. They saw the transfiguration of Christ, a very extraordinary event. Our events are not quite of that magnitude. But, we can have one. I have had two such events. Since, these events happen infrequently, we are meant to cherish them for a lifetime. Have you had a “peak moment?” In Advent we pray:”Come, Lord, Jesus.” Maybe, in Lent we should pray:”Lord God, help me to see You face to face as have others through the course of history even to this day.”
(From the Sermon on the Mount) One day, Pres. Lincoln was speaking kindly to a Confederate soldier. He was overheard by a woman who was shocked at this. She told the President that we should be destroying our enemy not befriending him. Pres. Lincoln responded: “Madam, the best way to destroy our enemy is to befriend him.” How do we try to live out Jesus’ teaching to “love our enemies?”
The whole of chapter 18 of Ezekiel is a disavowal of an ancient proverb:”Fathers have eaten green grapes thus their children’s teeth are on edge.” In other words, the children could be punished for the sins of their fathers. Ezekiel is writing about personal responsibility. Thus, each of the decisions we make really counts. We will be punished only for those things we do or say not punished from one generation to another. I think Ezekiel’s message is even more important today. We live in a “victim” culture. We are all victims, thus we are responsible for nothing. We have no power over our own actions. We are acted upon. Of course, Ezekiel would say that is not true. We are meant to be responsible for our own actions. Take responsibility!
Today’s Feast reminds us that our faith is based on the teaching of the Apostles. Our faith is built on rock foundations. Let us today pray for the wisdom and courage to live out the faith professed, lived out, and died for by Peter.
In AD 45, a man called Theudas appeared claiming to be the Messiah. He promised to show a sign by parting the Jordan River. He failed. People were asking Jesus for a sign. He said He would only give the sign of Jonah, His preaching and His life as testimony. People who can’t hear God’s voice in Jesus won’t see God’s hand in signs, either.
Jesus teaches His disciples to pray the Our Father (CCC 2761-2865) Before He does, he tells them not to pray like the pagans who multiple words in hope of flattering the gods. In other words, they are praying to change the mind of these gods. Jesus reminds them that their heavenly Father already knows what they need. In other words, our prayers are not meant to change God but to change ourselves. Genuine prayer makes us different people.
“O Sacrament most holy, O sacrament divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!” (Prayed by the Sisters of Charity of Our lady, Mother of the Church, every time they pass a church.) Let us pray it daily for a renewed understanding of the Blessed Sacrament as many have lost their faith in the fact that it is the Body/Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. It is the source and summit of our Christian life.