Home Community Sunday Gospel Thoughts 13 March 2022, 2nd Sunday of Lent

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  • #3426
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    Gospel
    Lk 9:28b-36
    Jesus took Peter, John, and James
    and went up the mountain to pray.
    While he was praying his face changed in appearance
    and his clothing became dazzling white.
    And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,
    who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus
    that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
    Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep,
    but becoming fully awake,
    they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
    As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus,
    “Master, it is good that we are here;
    let us make three tents,
    one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
    But he did not know what he was saying.
    While he was still speaking,
    a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
    and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
    Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
    “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
    After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
    They fell silent and did not at that time
    tell anyone what they had seen.

    #3456
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    In the Story God says, “This is my Beloved Son, listen to him”. So often though, rather than listen to Jesus, we tell him what we want him to say, and this is what we listen to: a Jesus who thinks just as we do, doesn’t like the same people we don’t like, agrees with is on pretty much everything. In other words we create our own image of Jesus to believe in. Since this Jesus agrees with us, we just assume that we are right, and any who don’t think the way we do are, by definition, wrong.

    We are surrounded by this sort of thing these days. Look at how many people say the way they see Jesus is the only correct way for everybody everywhere all the time. Then there are the clergy who say that anybody who votes in a certain way is going to hell, as are any who are of certain life styles or marriage status — always, of course in the name of Jesus who shared his Father’s love with everybody, especially those who were on the wrong side of the religion system in his day.

    Jesus taught and lived his Father’s unconditional love for everybody. We feel threatened by that, so, throughout history, we have imposed, often violently, conditions and standards that Jesus condemned in his day. We need a sense of control, so we create standards, develop approved terminology and beliefs, and establish behavior codes that we expect Jesus to follow, even though he opposed them in his own day.To spread Jesus’ message of his Father’s unconditional love, we have, and in many ways still do, used violence in its many forms, always, we say, in Jesus’ name. If he knew these people, his Father’s creations, as we do, this Jesus would do the same. We seem to feel that we have to protect God from God’s own creation.

    We would prefer to keep Jesus as an idea rather than be open to knowing Jesus as an experience that transcends all that we think important. Following this Jesus becomes for us a matter of performance rather than transformation.

    The basic responsibility of any who would be truly a disciple of Jesus is to be open to the Spirit who offers conversion, constant growth, and helps us change where we look for our happiness. Jesus said, “I will the Spirit who will remind you of everything I taught you”. When we choose to be open to Her, the Spirit shows us what it means for us to be a disciple of Jesus in our own life circumstances. It is a journey we have to make for ourselves, and nobody can do it for us.

    #3466
    Carol Munka
    Participant

    I love this! Being born again in Christ has transformed my life. It’s given me a desire to study the Bible and learn like I never have before. I feel the Holy Spirit working within me!

    #3468
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    Carol, studying the Scriptures is good, but praying them is the next step. Passages we thought we knew the meaning of can take on a whole new meaning in our personal experience of them in our every day life. If you choose to move in this direction be ready to be surprised. This is very difficult for folks who need the control of already having the answers.It usually moves us beyond our comfort and safety zone.

    An important step, though, is that when we start to read a passage, we don’t think we already know what it is going to say to us. It’s good to begin with praying to the Holy Spirit for openness to whatever She is going to say to us.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Phrogge.
    #3473
    Carol Munka
    Participant

    I have a conviction to strengthen my prayer life. With my classes I feel like I need to relearn how to pray – there is so much power and joy in it. My biggest problem is time management.
    However, I have been asking the Holy Spirit to guide me. My current class is Doctrine in the Holy Spirit and I am learning a lot as to how to pray.

    #3475
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    Ever hear of something called “centering prayer”, or meditation, or contemplative prayer, or the different between saying prayers and prayer itself?

    #3479
    Sherri Buck
    Participant

    I feel like this is another way of Jesus speaking to us a little differently. He specifically took Peter John and James on the mountain, an I think maybe this was purposeful. While growing up I always felt them at these 3 were the “most faithful” which is why Jesus brought them. But looking at things from my older mind, I realize maybe this was done more so to solidify their faith. Often we believe our hearts and mind are in the right place when it comes to believing and praying – and it your point – it’s what we WANT Jesus to be/ believe. But this is the moment that God confirms “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”

    So ultimately is how many times have we heard the same, but didn’t listen. God asks us to listen to Jesus- but how often do we take the time to hear Jesus speak through others because what we believe is a good Christian, person, child? Listening to Jesus is about listening to others. Hearing Jesus speak through them.

    I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve used the phrase with my kids “you heard me but did you listen?”- I really think this is very similar with these men. They heard God- but did they really listen? Did they really listen to what Jesus told them something I work on on daily- trying not just to hear God, but actually listen!

    #3481
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    Carol, here is a website to give you an overall idea of Centering Prayer — https://www.contemplative.org/contemplative-practice/centering-prayer/

    Let me know what you think.

    #3483
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    Sherri, I would never have thought of it that way. I’ve never had your experiences. What you said shows the Spirit speaks to us in the setting of what is going on in our life when we read/hear it. The same Story can have any number of messages. There is no just one meaning for everybody always. Nice job.

    #3488
    Carol Munka
    Participant

    I tried the Centering prayer this morning. It is very difficult for me to clear my head of distractions so I think this will work for me. I downloaded the app which helps with timing, etc. I’m interested to see if this method is what I need! Thanks for the recommendation!

    #3502
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    In the Story Jesus’ disciples fell asleep while Jesus was having his experience. They felt they knew him well enough that nothing was going to change. When they woke up and saw what was happening with Jesus, they wanted to build tents and stay with that. This might suggest to us that in our own life we might feel we know Jesus well enough that nothing more or new is going to happen. In our own version of listening to Jesus we concentrate on our own perfection by doing things that we think are important and will keep Good happy. Listening to Jesus becomes something of a performance according the the rules issue, and so we focus on rules, terminology, etc, trying to gives ourselves some sense of control. We are not comfortable with any changes. In the Gospels Jesus is not talking about performance, but what tradition calls union, being increasingly aware that we live in a relationship with God that becomes the basis of our life. Rules and doctrines are important, but they point beyond themselves to awareness of this union. They are means to an end, not the end itself.We run the risk of some sort of a static faith that does not grow because it feels it already has all then answers. So, we feel we can judge others by our ways — we are right, others are wrong. This is rampant in christianity, as well as in other traditions.

    Jesus calls his disciples to learn from him to see God happening in real life as it is, to let God be God, be open to meeting God in new and unexpected persons and situations. We are on a journey from God, with Good, to God, always being drawn ahead, often well beyond our comfort zones, beyond comfortable routines and ways of thinking.

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