Are You Listening?

A Reflection on Mk 9:2-10
​by SSJ Associate Margaret Chrymko

The Transfiguration (Mk 9:2-10), when Jesus led Peter, James, and John up a mountain and was transfigured before them, is one of my favorite Gospels. In the past, I’ve reflected on the “mountain top” experience, envisioning Jesus in dazzling white clothing. The apostles, captivated by this divine encounter, suggested building tents to remain in the sacred moment. Their eyes were opened! At the end of a retreat, I just want to stay in the quiet, sacred moment, too. Yet, I must return to everyday life. Do I return with my eyes opened?

Today, another line from this Gospel resonates with me: “This is my Beloved Son. Listen to Him.” “Listen to Him.” Do I stop and listen? Can I cultivate the stillness, patience, and attentiveness required to hear the Spirit? Do I open my heart?

In our culture, being still and listening attentively can be a struggle. I grapple with quieting my mind and discerning whether the thoughts that surface are inspired by the Spirit. How is God speaking to me? When I think of someone during prayer, is God asking me to nurture our relationship?

Is it a nudge for me to extend the compassion of God to him/her? Is God calling me to visit so he/she can manifest the love and wisdom of Jesus to me? Or am I just being distracted?

Recently, when delivering food to a neighbor, I was invited to come inside but I politely declined. Upon reflection, I asked myself, “Was I listening? Did I decline God’s invitation? Was I oblivious to a need in front of me? Did I miss an opportunity to hear God’s message through my neighbor? How can I be more attuned to opportunities in the future?”

I pray for a listening heart so I can respond to the subtle whispers of the Spirit and be more compassionate and fully alive.

Are you listening, listening with your heart? Are you mindful of opportunities to compassionately serve others? How is God calling you to become more fully alive?

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