Sunday Reflection: March 6, 2023

Second Sunday of Lent: “When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” Matthew 17:8-9

My birthday coffee & do cut date with my girlie March 2023

We all envision how our life will go and then, as they say, “life happens.” We know how we want our life to be, what we want it to look like and our ideas about what will make us most fulfilled. The reality of the human experience: life doesn’t work that way.

We humans have cute little sayings to make us feel better about dealing with the unexpected. Ours was always “want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.” But the truth is as life is revealed to us, as we learn about the cross we will carry, we will feel fear. Even if we have strong faith, even when we are in the presence of Jesus, like the apostles in this moment, we still will face fear. But that is what we are called into: the unknown, unplanned, unexpected- beyond the fear to a personal relationship with God.

In today’s gospel the apostles in the story have a lot of human reactions. Peter is overwhelmed and he responds by asking about building something that honors the majesty, and maybe even his fear. Another human emotion: fear. Can you imagine being plucked by your teacher from the crowd? What the emotions of pride, love, and being seen as superior feel likd? These are things that usually give us humans confidence. But then at the top of the hill being met with fear? It may have been fueled by the number of questions running through their mind. The sights and sounds of the experience could also be the match that ignites the fear. Was it Jesus revolutions pointed something completely new and unexpected about their beloved teacher? This moment challenges the fact that they knew him well or understand his mission… now it’s fear that makes them wonder if they have understood anything at all about who Jesus is and what he does? Are these not the same emotions that we feel when life takes an unexpected turn?

Reflecting on how fear surrounds the apostles featured in this story, I am reminded how so much of the feelings that result when we experience life “going off course.” Change can lead to curiosity and a sense of adventure…. But mostly for us broken hearted humans the uncertainty leads to fear. We don’t know for sure what fueled the apostles fear, but what we can know is that Jesus is calling them to take a step deeper in their relationship with him and the rustling emotion is fear. This will be the same for us: when we encounter Jesus and what plans the Lord has for our life it will be full of uncertainty thus often fear. But the reality is that is how life is period. There will be times it deviates from our plan, and self reliance or control can’t fix it. Being able to recognize the feelings associated with letting go of our expectations and plans, will give us a clue we are on the right path with God. His invitation results in the same answer and emotions associated with letting go of our vision. The difference is God as the author is possible to find our path that brings fulfillment… self reliance never will. Life going off course and God’s call to us feeling uncertain: are both opportunities that will find us all. Are you ready with your answer, despite fear?

This week’s tool is the Poco a Poco podcast from March 1. The brother’s talk about this gospel story in a way that highlights the human experience. You will be able to imagine yourself in this story and truly understand the transformation the Lord desires for us by encountering him.

Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!

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