WHO DO WE LISTEN TO?
From childhood we Christians have heard of the Gospel story traditionally called the «transfiguration of Jesus». At this point it’s not possible to know with certainty how the story originated. It remained gathered in Christian tradition above all for two reasons: it helped them remember the mystery enclosed in Jesus and it invited them to listen only to him.
At the top of a «high mountain» his closest disciples see Jesus with his face «transfigured». Two legendary persons from Israel’s history accompany him: Moses, the great law-giver of the people, and Elijah, the prophet of fire who defended God with consuming passion.
These two people, representatives of the Law and the Prophets, have their faces darkened: only Jesus radiates light. In addition, they proclaim no message, they come to «converse» with Jesus: only he has the last word. Only he is a key to read any other message.
Peter doesn’t seem to have understood. He suggests making «three shelters», one for each of them. He puts the three people on the same plane. He hasn’t grasped the novelty of Jesus. The voice that comes out of the cloud will clarify things: «This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him». There’s no need to listen to Moses or Elijah, but only to Jesus, the “Beloved Son”. His words and his life disclose for us the truth of God.
To live listening to Jesus is a unique experience. Finally we are listening to someone who says the truth. Someone who knows why and what to live for. Someone who offers the keys to build a more just and dignified world for humans.
Jesus’ followers don’t live by just any belief, norm or rite. A community becomes Christian when it goes about putting the Gospel and only the Gospel at its center. That is where our identity comes into play. It’s not easy to imagine a social event more humanizing than a group of believers listening together to the «story of Jesus». Each Sunday we can feel his call to see life with different eyes and to live it with more responsibility, building a more livable world.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf