by Sister Francis Bangert
This Sunday's powerful Transfiguration passage from Mark’s Gospel follows Jesus’ teaching on discipleship: that following Him would lead to misunderstanding, suffering, and even death. It’s a basic truth of human life … no pain, no gain. No cross, no resurrection. Think of some examples: regular exercising to lose weight; years of practice to reach the Olympics; rigorous study to obtain a degree; day after long day of struggling with an addiction to achieve sobriety/inner freedom.
To teach the Apostles that following Him will be worth the effort, Jesus invites Peter, James and John into an indescribable experience of the Mystery of Trinity. He becomes Pure Light – then a Cloud comes and a Voice is heard, “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.”
It is into this mystery that they and we are welcomed to contemplate, to listen for guidance and to be strengthened for the long haul; to work for Gospel peace, not the false peace of control; to respect every human being as an image of God; to care for Earth and stand in awe at her interrelated beauty; to exchange personal comfort and complacency for the challenge of building the reign of God.
As we listen to the beloved Son during these Lenten days, how are we being called into a deeper awareness of being loved unconditionally by Him? What fears, judgmental attitudes, selfish interests, excuses, do we need to let go of in order to grasp the depth of living in the Trinitarian Mystery? It’s worth the effort.
You are so spot-on, Fran. God surely does give us grace-filled moments and awesomely holy experiences to 'get us going,' and 'keep us going.' Without these, I don't know if I - or any of us - could really keep moving. But, "Thanks-Be-to-God," Yes! We are given 'holy signs,' that 'awaken' us to 'seeing and hearing and being anew!'
The students, teachers, and families in Florida are bright shining stars for me, who I see, are and will continue to lead 'the many to justice.' I am so moved by them. Every time I see and hear them, telling more and more, coming together and sharing and doing more and more together to stop gun-school violence, I am so very deeply grateful.
Everyone who cares about what it's going to take to transform our violent culture of death, needs to look up DR. PHIL's episode from yesterday, Thursday, 2/22/18. I'm sure you can find it on u-tube, by googling. You will know that we-are-one.
Hi Sister Fran. I really appreciate your "no pain, no gain" analogy to help bring perspective to St. Mark's Gospel passage. Blessings to you today.
No cross, no resurrection--powerful message perfectly put. I also loved the part about working for Gospel (true) peace and not the "peace of control"--so often the two seem to get confused. Well done as usual Sr. Fran, thank you!
Follow-up to listening to and watching Dr. Phil's candid, moving episode yesterday:
Part II of the Valentine's Day (Ash Wed) Tragedy is airing today. If you miss today's, it will be on-line, too.
Also -- Senator Joe Kennedy (beautiful red-head :+) ) was on THE VIEW today. When that video is available on The View's website, you will want to see and hear that, too! HEARing the Voices, the deep-down truth coming from the lives of all these people, gives me great hope -- the Transformation JESUS en-visioned is not only possible, but it is real, and it is happening in-our-midst. God, give us eyes to see; give us ears to hear; give us hearts and hands and feet to move and walk and serve the Earth and all She holds and bears, as you did.
Dear Sister Fran, Following Jesus takes complete surrender. That is why I loved your words, "No pain, no gain...no cross, no resurrection." It is in complete surrender that Jesus chose the cross. Let us all rejoice in the power of His Resurrection. Thank you, as always, for your inspiration. Blessings to YOU! Loretta