LISTEN TO JESUS
At the center of that complex story, traditionally called «The Transfiguration of Jesus», we find a voice that comes from a strange «bright cloud», a symbol that is used in the Bible to talk about the always mysterious presence of God that is shown to us and at the same time is hidden from us.
The voice says these words: «This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favor. Listen to him». The disciples don’t need to confuse Jesus with anyone else, not even with Moses and Elijah, representatives and witnesses of the Old Testament. Only Jesus is the beloved Son of God, only he has his face «shining like the sun».
But the voice adds something more: «Listen to him». In other times God had revealed God’s will by means of the «ten commandments» of the Law. Now God’s will is summed up and made concrete in only one command: listen to Jesus. Listening establishes the true relationship between Jesus and his followers.
At hearing this, the disciples fall to the ground «overcome with fear». They are overwhelmed by that experience of being so close to God, but they are also afraid by what they have heard: can they live, only listening to Jesus, recognizing only in him God’s mysterious presence?
Then Jesus «comes up and touches them, saying: “stand up, do not be afraid”». He knows that they need to experience his human closeness: the contact of his hand, not just the divine splendor of his face. Whenever we listen to Jesus in the silence of our being, his first words to us are always: «Stand up, don’t be afraid».
Many people only know Jesus from hearsay. His name sounds familiar maybe, but what they know of him doesn’t go any further than some memories and impressions from childhood. Even more, though they call themselves Christians, they live without hearing Jesus in their heart. And without that experience, it’s not possible to know his unmistakable peace or his power to encourage and sustain our lives.
When a believer stops to listen to Jesus in silence, in her conscience within, she always hears something like this:
«Don’t be afraid. Abandon yourself in complete simplicity to the mystery of God. The little faith you have is enough. Don’t be upset. If you listen to me, you will discover that God’s love consists in always forgiving you. And if you believe this, your life will change. You will know peace of heart».
In the book of Revelation we find this passage: «Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share a meal at that person’s side». Jesus calls at the door of Christians and non-Christians. We can open the door for him or we can reject him. But it’s not the same to live with Jesus as to live without him.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf