They almost missed it. Maybe they were tired from the climb up the mountain, but they almost missed seeing Jesus in his glory and Moses and Elijah with him.
Peter, always wanting to act or say something, proposed setting up three tents, one for Jesus and one each for the two guests talking with him. Luke, giving an insight into Peter’s brashness, tells us that he didn’t know what he was saying. It wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last; but, that was Peter being Peter. Suddenly they were enveloped in a cloud from which came a voice: “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” God had the last word. They fell silent, even Peter. They realized they were in over their heads. They needed time to let it all sink in. They needed silence to understand Jesus from a new perspective.
How many times do we miss the glory of God that is all around us because we have our eyes shut? Or, do we just don’t want to see it because it upsets our well-ordered world we have created for ourselves?
Go outside tonight and look at the stars with Abram. Be no longer just occupied with earthy things as Paul counseled the Philippians. God has much greater plans for each of us. Like Peter, James, and John don’t try to explain or rationalize right away that moment when all you can say is: “OH!”
The call to faith is a summons to let God be God, to expect more than what we call reasonable, to trust and go beyond our better judgment, and not bother with counting the stars –just be amazed at them and feel small and insignificant in their presence, for the stars we see are only part of the universe. But also be assured that their Creator has the greatest love for us human beings, so much so that Jesus the Christ became one with us to reveal that love, model it for us, and call us to imitate, not Paul, but him.
That should overwhelm us and reduce us to aweful silence.
2nd Sunday of Lent, C, 2016