The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

The Gate of Heaven

February 21, 2016 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

February 21, 2016
Luke 9:28b-36
Fr. George Smiga

A baby was born by caesarean section. Because his mother was still under the anesthetic, the nurse brought the child to his father who was waiting in the hospital nursery. Immediately upon seeing the boy, the father became concerned. He had rather large ears that were sticking out quite prominently from his head. “Oh this is bad,” said the father. “I can already hear the children at school calling him Dumbo.” The nurse tried to console the man. “You have a healthy son,” she said, “and if necessary there is possible surgery to correct this problem in the future.” “Thanks,” said the father, “but I’m really worried about how my wife is going to react to this. She doesn’t take things as easily as I do.” When the mother was ready, the father gingerly carried the child into her hospital room wrapped in a blanket. He placed the child in her lap. Then he carefully uncovered the child’s head so that she could see her son for the first time. Immediately upon seeing the child’s face, she gasped, looked at her husband, and said, “Oh honey, Look! He has your ears.”

There is what is, and then there is the way we see it. There is reality and then there is our perception of it. The two do not always match. Today’s gospel of the Transfiguration presents an interplay of reality and perception. The disciples on the mountain do not see Jesus in a new way. They see Jesus in a deeper way. They are able to perceive the glory that has always been a part of who Jesus is. The gospel, of course, does not simply tell us things about Jesus, it addresses us. This gospel invites us to see the people in our lives and our world in a deeper way. It invites us to look beyond the surface and to perceive the reality that lies deep within.

As Christians we see that reality from the perspective of faith. We believe that at the heart of every person and every created thing lies the goodness and the glory of God. The great American mystic, Thomas Merton, puts it this way, “The gate of heaven is everywhere. We live in a world that is transparent and the divine shines through it all the time.” What a difference it would make in our life if we would be able to see that deep inner reality, the glory of God that is always around us.

This truth however is too big to be taken in all at once. Like the disciples on the mountain we can only catch a glimpse of God’s glory. But those glimpses are important and we have all had them. Maybe it happens when we are walking in the woods and see the sunlight filter through the trees or when we see the joy in our children’s faces on Christmas morning. Maybe we catch a glimpse as we share a truth with a close friend or stand before a great work of art. In those moments we do not see things differently. We see more deeply the grace of God that is always around us. This is why it is important to keep our hearts open to those moments and to treasure them. For they lead us beyond the surface of things to the true reality that lies deep within them. They are the Gate of Heaven through which we find hope, through which we find peace, through which we find God.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options