Living the Gospel – March 17, 2019 (Part 1)

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Living the Gospel (Part 1 – March 17)

When Jesus took Peter, James, and John up the mountain, they were given a foretaste or a moment’s glimpse of what heaven would be like. There on that mountain, stood Jesus in all of his glory, transfigured (transformed) before them.

Did the disciples really understand what happened at that moment? Did they recognize the importance of that experience?

It is like the boy in the following story:

“A little boy, who was blind, was taken to a famous specialist who said that an operation might give him sight. After the delicate operation was over, the little fellow opened his eyes and looked at his mother. But he did not know her, knowing only the sound of her voice and the touch of her hand. But when the mother spoke his name, his little arms went around her neck and he said, “Mother, is this heaven?” For them, it was at least a foretaste of heaven.

For us, though we have heard God’s voice in his Word and felt the loving touch of his guiding hand, it will truly be heaven when we see him face to face. However, even now, God is present to us though we may not always be aware of his being there. There are times amidst the clouds of daily life, that there is a break and the sun or light shines through and we see him, as much as we are capable, not his face or body, but the warmth of his loving touch in our hearts.

There are also times when we can sense God’s presence in others and it can be transforming for us. Father Joseph Langford, who co-founded the Missionaries of Charity Fathers, wrote about the effect Mother Teresa had on his life: You are sitting with Mother Teresa, watching her smile as her loving eyes take in everything about you, feeling the comfort of her strong hands on yours, the aura of holiness around her person, the solace of her gentle words. You watch her tend to the sick and the dying, going out of her way to perform the smallest gestures of care and compassion: the caress on a weary brow, the squeeze of a hand. You see her in the back of the chapel in Calcutta, immobile and bent in prayer, lost in God. In her, I felt the presence of God and it transformed my life.”

There are ordinary saints in our own lives who exude such love and joy that they transform us for the better. For me it is Susan. Susan is a widow, who is a winter resident in the RV Park where Ken and I spend the winter months. Susan lost her beloved husband a few years ago and she decided then that she could crawl inside herself and live in pain or she could live each day as a blessing to others. Well, Susan is truly a ray of sunshine even on the cloudiest day. She whistles and sings as she walks her little dog Fozzy. As she rides past your home on her bike she hollers out “Howdy, Howdy, Howdy.” She joins in every one of the campground activities including painting classes. She finds beauty in each of our paintings and points out the goodness in every person she meets. Everyone knows her and loves her… You see, Susan helps us see goodness, beauty, and joy in every day and that is transforming.