We are drawing near to the end of the Lenten season. It has been a season of reflection and exploring. It has been a time to repent, that is re-turn our lives to God. I am thinking back to the the last Sunday of the Epiphany season before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Each year the scripture reading for that Sunday is the story of the Transfiguration. Jesus goes up on the mountaintop to pray and brings with him three of the stalwart disciples, Peter, James, and John. (We’ll hear more about them later this week. This is the trio that goes with Jesus to Gethsemane.) While on the mountain there is the appearance of Moses and Elijah. And Jesus appears aglow in bright light. And a voice is heard from the clouds. This voice has been heard before at Jesus’ baptism saying, “You are my Own, my Beloved. On you my favor rests.” [Luke 3:22b.] That was at the river. In
the story on the mountaintop, the voice announces, “This is my Own, my Chosen One. Listen to him!”
During the Lenten season we have been trying to listen to Jesus. Trying to listen to his wisdom and teaching for our lives and our world. We have been doing this through the lens of the wildness of mercy hoping to let Jesus lead us more deeply into the reality of God.
The next few days we will be remembering the most difficult days in the ministry of Jesus. Let us keep listening. Let us stay open to what we can see and hear and learn from the stories of the last days of Jesus’ life. What are we shown? How can the ending of Jesus’ earthly life be life-giving for us?
Even as we remember the terrible events of those last days, the trial, the desertion, the betrayal, the agony, the irony, and all the rest, the wildness of mercy will make this story a love story. And we are the ones who receive the love. So let’s “Listen to him!”
We know that Jesus’ suffering and death are ahead. The last days, the last hours. The point of no return. An ultimate expression of love. May we listen to the story and hear the love. Amen.