“And there came a voice from the cloud, “This is my Son the Beloved. Listen to him.”
Thursday, 4 March 2021
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.