The Word Among Us

Mass Reading & Meditation for December 15, 2018

Meditation: Matthew 17:9-13

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2nd Week of Advent

As they were coming down from the mountain. (Matthew 17:9)

Mere hours ago, the disciples had witnessed Jesus being transfigured in a cloud of glory. So it might seem a little ordinary and anticlimactic for today’s Gospel to focus on the disciples trekking back down the mountain. After all, what could possibly surpass the Transfiguration?

But let’s not forget that the disciples were walking beside Jesus: the Son of God. The second Person of the Trinity. The Word of God made flesh. They had him all to themselves, so they took advantage of the opportunity and asked him a question. Who knows? They may have asked more than just one. Or maybe they just listened for what he’d say next. As much as they treasured spiritual “mountaintop” experiences, intimate moments like this walk down the mountain must have been very precious to them. This story shows us that even ordinary moments with the Lord can be just as special as the “big moments.”

We’ve nearly reached the “mountaintop” of our Advent journey. Christmas, with its choirs of angels and awestruck shepherds, is just around the corner. But don’t forget that today is a remarkable day.

Today is the perfect day to steal away for a few extra minutes of prayer and have the Lord all to yourself. Maybe, like the disciples, you have a question in mind. Go ahead and ask him. If you can’t think of any questions, try this one: “Jesus, why did you come as a baby?” Then be still; try to fix your attention on him. Sometimes it helps to imagine yourself sitting next to him and looking into his eyes. Pay attention to the thoughts or images that come to mind. If you sense that they’re drawing you closer to Jesus, they could be coming from him.

Speaking with Jesus really is this simple. Who knows? This could be the beginning of a real conversation. At the very least, you can trust that the Lord will shine his grace and mercy into your heart, just as his glory shone at the Transfiguration. Jesus wants you to know that he is always with you, no matter what paths you are walking. He is ready to take any ordinary day and make it extraordinary.

“Lord, thank you for today. Help me to enjoy your presence here, right now.”

Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19

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