[caption id="attachment_171001" align="aligncenter" width="1180"] Image: Pixabay.com (2016), CC0/PD[/caption]
As I was praying the Rosary and reflecting on the mystery of the Transfiguration, I had a small revelation.
We long to see Jesus's divine glory, to know Him as perfect fulfillment, to be taken out of the chaos of this world for a while to stand in the pure light of the Redeemer.
And we do have those moments, those glimpses of our Lord while seeking him faithfully. They fill us with awe and shore up our faith amid numerous struggles.
But the transfiguration was something that lasted only a short time here on earth. After that awesome event, Christ and his disciples descended the mountain and began walking the dusty roads of earth - of human experience - again.
[caption id="attachment_171002" align="aligncenter" width="1180"] Image: Pixabay.com (2017), CC0/PD[/caption]
Where do we find our Lord for most of His public ministry in the Gospels? We find Him with humanity in their joy and suffering.
- He celebrates a wedding with family and friends (John 2) and supplies additional wine when His mother intercedes for the couple.
- He shares countless meals with persons of high social status and those deemed merely "a sinner" (Luke 7: 36-50).
- He walks with a terrified father to the bedside of his sick girl (Mark 5:21-24).
- He feels pity for a poor widow who has lost her only son (Luke 7:11-13).
- He frees a woman discovered in her sin and publicly shamed (John 8:3-11).
- He heals illness and disease and feels compassion for the crowds “like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:35-37).
- He blesses little children and hugs them (Mark 10:13-16).
- He calms Martha in her stressful work, showing her what is most important (Luke 10:38-42).
- He asks a woman, ostracized by her community, for a drink at a well in the midday heat (John 4: 4-26).
- He weeps on the way to a friend's tomb (John 11:33-35).
- Son of God and Son of Man, he experienced our humanity, including extreme hunger (Matthew 4:2) and weariness (Matthew 8:23-24).
And He is with us now during the Covid-19 crisis – when we are confused, bored, lonely, anxious, suffering, or unsure how to best help others. We can see Him standing with the people waiting at food banks or in line for unemployment benefits. We see His face reflected in the weary visages of doctors and nurses, red and bruised from long hours of mask wearing. We see Him seated by our antsy children as we struggle to teach them in this challenging time. As we prepare meal after meal, He is seated around the table with our loved ones.
Jesus in the everyday – the boring, blessed, stressful, joyful, uncertain, challenging everyday moments of human life.
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I believe that in between our rare but cherished personal glimpses of the Transfiguration, Jesus is with us fully on the dusty, often painful road of existence as in that famous poem "Footprints in the Sand." Like the man in the poem, we often don’t recognize the presence of our traveling companion in the mess and stress of the everyday. But He is there.
We don’t have to wait for a transfiguration moment to acknowledge Him. Instead, we can shelter-in-place with the One who loved us so much, He was willing to experience our humanity all the way through terrible suffering and violent death. Instead of social distancing, we can embrace the One Who redeemed our humanness completely after His glorious resurrection when He ascended, fully human and fully divine, to heaven.
And we can trust that He is with us now and “always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Where do you see Our Lord in the new “everyday” of the coronavirus pandemic?
[caption id="attachment_171004" align="aligncenter" width="1180"] Image: Pixabay.com (2018), CC0/PD[/caption]
Copyright 2020 Hillary Ibarra