Sunday, March 04, 2007
Interrupted by God
Cyber-Version Homily for the Second Sunday of Lent
The disciples had faithfully followed Christ. God had brought them through much and now they found themselves at the most literal of mountain top experiences.
Now, as frequently occurs with the followers of Christ of every generation, they were led beyond their own ability and they were struggling. Peter in a classic “speak first, think later” approach to the challenges of life was telling Jesus what should be done. And as the Gospel shares: “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”. God interrupted Peter.
Those few words can help us to better realize the workings of God in our lives, how we respond and how God reaches out to us. As all our readings today affirm it is the longing of God to bring us to know and receive the riches of the promises of Christ. As we allow our Lord to lead us we can grow in the grace of being citizens of Heaven.
The problem of our human chatter and clatter is something with which we all contend in both empty words and actions. Some, like Peter, will when facing a situation of stress or fear will start talking. As God’s Word says we may chatter away yet “know not what we are saying”. These thoughtless words can however bring sad consequences. “Least said, soonest mended” is wise counsel that could have prevented many a misunderstanding, wounded relationship or sinful gossip.
Our human chatter can also be expressed in our busyness. Where we mindlessly are “on the go” from one task and event to another yet not really aware of what we are doing. It also can be seen when we are just busy fixing, fussing and changing stuff around because, frankly we haven’t got a clue what God is doing or what God may want.
It is pretty much about thinking…we got it under all under control...we really do know what’s going on….or so we think.
It may well be in the chatter and clatter of our words and actions that we suddenly find ourselves in the Clouds of God. Our Lord, in His mercy, and perhaps in His humor, allows times to come in life when we find we are in the “clouds of unknowing”. These clouds will obscure our natural perception and understanding. They may well occur unexpectedly and quickly. They may well be one of God’s interruptions. A turn of relationship, sickness or injury, blessing or trial can bring us to a place of realizing…things aren’t going as I had planned…I may not be in as full control as I thought. These clouds can appear frightening, to the natural instincts. But it as God intervenes, to refocus our empty hearts, we are brought to a place to hear His Word.
It would have been priceless to see the faces of the disciples and especially of Peter, when the Father spoke. Imagine what it felt like. Rattling on in his futile wisdom Peter is literally shut-up by the voice of God. So it should be for us. When we are rattling on in our empty wisdom and useless clatter we can seek and pray for the Word of God to interrupt. It is in the uncertain clouds of unplanned problems that we can let the wisdom of Heaven, the Word of God to penetrate our being and lead us to Christ. The message of the Father was short but very clear: “THIS IS MY CHOSEN SON, LISTEN TO HIM”.
This season of Lent may we realize God’s interruptions can brings us back to the way of the Cross, to Christ and His Word.