From 7:00PM on Friday evening until 7:00PM yesterday I was privileged to share a 24-hour retreat experience with four spiritual seekers, women who came to enter into silence in order to pray and then to share reflections on the Scriptures dealing with the women in the life of Jesus, women who accompanied him to the cross and finally to resurrection. It was an extraordinarily meaningful time and we left with some new insights and a new appreciation of the value of really delving deeply into each word and possible meaning in the Scripture texts. We learned also (perhaps not for the first time) of the value of conversation as together we mirrored the practice of Mary, the mother of Jesus who “pondered all these things in her heart.”
Today will be a different kind of day and yet analogous as we welcome a group of Sisters and lay Associates to our home for an afternoon of meetings about important issues in our present and future life together. I expect less silence but just as much thoughtful sharing and the enthusiasm that comes from women whose purpose is to extend the great love of God to the world.
Today’s gospel is Luke’s rendition of the Transfiguration of Christ (LK 9:28-36) which must have seriously impacted the lives of Peter, James and John, the disciples who witnessed this moment with Jesus on the mountain. I have come to believe that we are all transfigured by the experiences that we have, alone sometimes but also in communion with one another, if we open ourselves to possibility. The season of Lent is always a time for more constant awareness of this fact and of the necessity of being an active participant in this “divine exchange.” Psalm 27 speaks today of this reality as the psalmist sings:
…And in this sacred place I give my being back to you, and everything as sacrifice; and there I offer you in song a grateful heart and a voice filled up with praise and prayer. O hear this voice of mine that calls to you. Take pity on my soul and answer back, I pray. Instantly and deep within my heart I hear your voice. You say: “Seek out my face in everything.” And from my heart, I answer back to you, “Your face, and you alone, I seek, my God.” (Ps. 27: 8-10)