To Whom Do You Listen
Today we look at the account of the Transfiguration in the Gospel of Mark. It is important to note that Mark is both the first Gospel written and the shortest. Therefore, every word carries a weight in Mark because it is so short.
We learn that in reality the transfiguration not only shows Jesus in his full glory, but within the context of the Trinity as well. We hear the Father,we see the Spirit is present in the cloud of light.
But there is an interesting line here: “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.” Now let us make an interesting contrast. You have this presentation of Jesus standing on a mountain with Moses and Elijah. We learn he became metamorphosed into as much of his glory that humans could tolerate and even then they had to bow down before him. His brightness was such that he became like the sun and he became as white as the purest white, keeping in mind white light is the combination of all colors, so he became greater than the fullness of all color and light. His presence was more than the apostles could tolerate as humans. In the midst of this, the apostles hear “Listen to Him!” from that point on, to whom are they going to listen? To whom are you going to listen?
That question can be summed up in to whom are you listening to now? Are you listening to Christ or are you listening to another?
Your answer to that question will tell you what is the source of your wisdom and where does that wisdom lead?
I teach people to listen carefully to any teaching on the faith, when you do, notice how many times Jesus’ name is mentioned in any of its forms. Be wary of one who teaches without using Jesus’ name, it does not mean a bad teaching but it can be a warning sign of a bad teaching. So pay attention. Where is the teaching leading you? Do you hear someone teaching you about your need to be happy now? The Lord wants us to be happy, that is true, however, he wants us to be in relationship to Him and be focused on intimate union with the Father because that is what makes us happiest. Therefore, any teaching that is about you being happy here without leading you to grow closer to Christ should be accepted with skepticism.
The Sacraments are the manifestation of Christ Himself, especially the Eucharist, of course. Beware of anyone who tells you that we do not need them. That is a rejection of Christ Himself.
There is a lot of manipulation in our society today and those who do not think through what they are being taught in the light of Christ are easily manipulated.
Watch Live TV daily or nightly talk shows and note how many times someone says something that is possibly disturbing to you and notice that the audience applauds. I personally don’t care that someone on TV says something that I do not agree with, but I really get worried about the applause that goes with it. That is producers way of saying to you: “all these people believe like this, why don’t you?” To whom are they listening and to whom are you listening? If you are not aware of that manipulation, you are at risk for being manipulated or actually being manipulated.
As Catholics we have a calling to be in relationship with Christ and that means to think clearly about what that relationship means and to live it.
As a community our goal is the salvation of souls, are you listening to Christ in that mission or are you listening to another. The answer to that question is in your priorities. In fact, Christ described it well: “Where your treasure is, there your heart is as well.” If developing your faith in Christ is not at the base of all you do, then you lose Christ among your higher priorities.
“My son got into a great university!” “Great, does he practice his faith?”
Then him getting into that great university is more important than is he knowing Christ. You are listening to the university community, you are not listening to Christ. God did not tell you to listen to them first.
That does not mean that you cannot focus on getting into a great university or to have a great education, but listen to Christ first. Then your child will come out of the great university even smarter and wiser.
Is it possible that the greatest problems in our country today are caused by people refusing to listen to Christ and instead listen to so many other voices?
Jesus calls us to love even to the point of loving our enemy. You realize that this action would have saved our nation over the decades great domestic heartaches if people reached out to do the most loving thing, personally.
Let us take a look in another venue. Every disastrous result of a sinful decision begins with a sinful choice to turn from the wisdom of Christ. However, that choice was dismissed as the liberating way to go, we do not have to believe in sin anymore.
We learn after we walk down a road that begins in sin and away from Christ that the road never leads where it was promised to go. That roads begins by disobeying those words of the Father and ends in slavery to sin.
Another issue to watch closely is in social media. Watch carefully and you will see that social media is becoming a danger in our country because it is forming a mob mentality. That too is away from Christ.
It is the same kind of manipulation that you see on TV but it becomes more personal and more destructive. We need to listen to the voice of Christ to see where the road is that leads to our fulfilment in Christ and where it leads away into disaster and not participate in that which leads us away from Christ.
God the Father told us to listen to His Son. Do we?