Have you ever had this experience? You wake up one morning and start your day only to have everything you touch just crumble -- nothing seems to be going right. You wake up late. You’re getting folks to school or work and it seems like a roller coaster with forgotten items, lunches, permission slips… Then, there is work. You may have thought, “Let me go back to bed and start this day all over! I just want this day to end.” On the opposite side of the coin, maybe you have had the experience where you wished the day would never end. Maybe you were enjoying a celebration, watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset, visiting with an old friend, experiencing a great meal, or enjoying a great retreat talk. You may have said, “I don’t want this to end!”
Well, I have had my share of lots of those experiences. I bet you could make a list yourself! As I listened to last weekend’s readings and prepared for this week’s readings, I felt like I was starting to connect the dots between the two Gospel readings. Last week, Jesus was led into the desert to pray and was tempted. “Get away Satan for it is written - The Lord your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve” (Matthew 4:10). This week Jesus takes three of his friends to a mountain top and they experience something out of the ordinary! “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 17:5).
Jesus and the Apostles experienced in their own way what we experience today -- the lows and highs of each of our lives. The Gospels have a message for us today even though they were written thousands of years ago. They are relevant. We need to acknowledge our low times and answer them with intense prayer. Temptations and messy days will always be part of our lives, handle them with care and awareness just as Jesus did. And the exhilarating times? Just like the Apostles, we are quick to want to build tents and stay, but we are challenged to move on with the joy in our heart. We need to experience and be grateful for both sides of this coin. The joyful highs help us to make it through the tough times.
We are all made in God’s image and likeness and Lent helps us to remember that. We need to bring the Jesus that lives in us out and let it shine. We can get stuck in a rut and just live our life in a very mediocre way. This week, look at both of the readings, make your lists, and be aware of which of the situations you are dealing with. Use the in-between time to be silent and pray so that you can become more like Jesus this Lent. I say, “Yes, My Lord, to all you are asking of me!”
Till next week,
Sister Theresita Donach