“And there came a voice from the cloud, “This is my Son the Beloved. Listen to him.”

Mark 9:8 

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Mark 9:2-8

If we think about the words spoken by the Father to Jesus in Mark’s Gospel in the Baptism and the Transfiguration, we can see similarities and differences. These are two pivotal moments in the life of Jesus, giving us a window into the relationship between the Father and the Son.

In both these moments, we do not see the Father. We hear a “voice”, and the voice claims Jesus in a relationship of intimacy as his Beloved Son. In the Baptism, that precedes the start of Jesus’ public ministry, we hear a word of affirmation. Jesus is the one in whom the Father is well pleased – the one in whom the Father delights.

In the transfiguration, God claims Jesus again as the Beloved Son of the Father. The next words are to the disciples – and so too to us: “Listen to him.” The Father does not say “listen to me”. He tells us to listen to Jesus, the Beloved Son, who knows the heart and mind of the Father.

Jesus has now been teaching and healing for some time. Some have listened. Many have not. Those who have listened have usually not fully heard or understood. In our context too: do we really hear what Jesus is saying? Are we listening intently for his direction, now, in the challenges that we face?

If we truly listen to him, we respond by doing what he is asking of us. To listen to him asks us for a openness and responsiveness of heart – to not be so attached to what I think and want that there is no freedom to respond to what I sense him saying to me.  All of this starts with asking for the desire to listen and respond.

Let us reflect,

What might help you to make space to become still enough to really listen to the Beloved Son?

What am I attached to that might get in the way of my willingness to let go of my agenda and hear him?

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has worked in the area of Ignatian Spirituality for 19 years and heads up the work of the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality. Her primary focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and the giving of retreats. She is also a registered Psychologist and her PhD focused on the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie is an editorial advisor to “The Way” journal of Spirituality and has authored a number of articles relating to the training of Spiritual Directors in an African context. She has contributed to several books, most recently co-authoring a book of Lenten Reflections: “Long Journey to the Resurrection”. She has contributed to international conferences and consultations in Spirituality in the United Kingdom; the United States; Rome; Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

a.paulin-campbell@jesuitinstitute.org.za @annemariepc_c
See more from Annemarie Paulin-Campbell
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