Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” —not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
This was today’s gospel, and as Fr. O’Brien described in his homily, it represents making a change – not because you want to, but because you are forced to – and that we should embrace it rather than shy away from it.
I don’t describe it quite as well as he did, but it hit home.
With the exception of about one week after I graduated from college (undergrad), I’ve never been faced with an upcoming change that I haven’t been ready for. True, there are times that it was difficult to take the step, but each time I’ve been ready for it. I’ve been ready to dive in and make the changes that need to be made, or as the case may be, embrace the changes forced upon me by life.
In that aforementioned week, I laid around in the same college hooded sweatshirt on my mother’s couch, watching soap operas and moping with my dog lying by my feet. My friends forced me to go on a roadtrip to get my mind off of things, and I then started applying for jobs. I got a “for now” job while I looked for a “real” job, which by the time it was time to take said “real” job, I was very, very ready. Besides – though I did miss my friends, the alternative was not graduating, and that was just ridiculous.
This week, I was faced with a unique situation. Without going into major specifics, I may be forced to make a change in my life that I don’t want to make. True, I could choose not to make it, but for the same reasons as the change mentioned above, it would be ridiculous and foolish for me not to. At the same time, for the past week it has had me anxious and upset. I took counsel with some friends – both who just listened, and both who are a little more knowledgeable on the subject and could give advice – and felt better, but still very sad at the prospect of a change to a situation that has been good.
For the first time in my life, I understand why some are so afraid of change. In the past, change has always represented something good, or at the very least going from something bad (or less than good) to something good (or better than before); now, it represents leaving something good to go to something … unknown.
It’s terrifying. And yet, that’s often why I enjoy listening to some of the Gospels (or other readings), such as this one. Many times, the people in the stories are faced with many of the same difficult decisions that we are everyday – which, I realize, is the point – and these readings represent how we should at least try to approach these situations.
So, in other words, I am being asked to change something that I don’t want to change, and I should do so with my head held high, and know it will work out.
I think I can do that.