TELEVISION TO NO MAN!
This was the quote of a comedian to claim that the bible had certainly outlawed the “boob tube.” Well, even though some might have their own reasons for wishing that the quote were accurate, we must report: NOT! It is of course today’s gospel account of the Transfiguration from Matthew that provided the comedian’s material. Far more importantly and for our Lenten journey, Jesus’ instruction to Peter, James, and John, “Tell the vision to no one,” demonstrates that our special and personal encounters and experiences of the Lord’s presence in our lives are to be kept just that—special and personal.
Approved: Lenten Selfishness
The effort that we make individually and personally during the remaining 29 days of Lent is not a selfish business. Whatever we commit ourselves to in terms of fasting, almsgiving, and prayer is meant to convert us, help us to become better people, and encourage us to become instruments of God’s kingdom now, at this time, and on this Earth. This could only benefit and bless the people we live with, work with, and journey to the Father with. When your child is obviously enjoying you more, or you are experiencing better communication and understanding with your teenager, or when loneliness becomes blessed solitude, the Lenten brand of selfishness will only be cause for gratitude and celebration.
Depending on the level of change and conversion needed in our lives, surrendering to Lent personally can also be a risky business, maybe even frightening. Trust is needed. Abram’s being asked to pack up and move out “to a land I will eventually show you” certainly required enormous trust. Paul assures us that we have grounds for trusting in God’s mission for us as he explains that we can do the scary thing—“Bear your share of hardship for the Gospel”—when he adds, “With the strength that comes from God.” It’s the old thing: God will not ask of us what God will not also provide the grace to accomplish or endure. The Transfiguration was also provided to Peter, James, and John to build their confidence in Jesus, who would indeed require much of them. Jesus appears with Moses of the Law and Elijah of the Prophets—what’s not to trust?
No doubt today’s readings are evidence that we would do well as we journey, to rely not only on the daily bread we need (not too much fasting there, only fasting in moderation), but on all the words that come from the mouth of God. Giving God quality time will surely pay off, both in a clearer understanding of what God is sending us on mission to do and in adding confidence to our purpose by way of a stronger relationship to Him.