“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” These words travel from the mouth of God and are meant for Peter, James, and John after they experience the transfigured Christ in today’s Gospel from Mark. The heart of the Word of God expresses the command to listen – but like our disciple friends, we are not always so good at it. We love to say “yes, of course, yes” to God, and then carry on with our own ideas and plans, just like the disciples. They were ready to build a shrine or monument to what they had just witnessed, seemingly without having truly appropriated what had happened. Maybe that is why God cleared God’s throat and spoke very plainly. “AHEM! Guys! Yo, listen up. Which part of listen to him did you not understand?“
How often do we hear God in relation to how often we truly listen to God? I do not know about you, but when I painfully look within, the simple reply is that I hear often, and then rarely listen deeply. And yes, I love to think that I “listen,” but then I often rush off to act without having really “heard” Jesus.
As humans are we hardwired to react? Like tightly coiled springs, we seem to think that at some level that God pings us seeking knee-jerk reactions based in some kind of material action. Hey – tents! Let’s build tents or booths or something! This makes for great marketing and promotional material, but that is not the point. God does not need our inner success oriented executives who are ready to build and brag. God seeks our obedience, which does not mean checking our brains at the door, but rather means…. deep listening. The hardest thing for an action oriented people to do, and the most important.
Today, may we be inspired to hear, to listen, to pause, and to pray, as we follow Jesus back down the mountain. No wonder we do not want to listen to Him.