Summary: Life’s troubles have always been part of humanity and always will be. Believing in God doesn’t take away any of those problems nor does it make the emotional and physical pain disappear. But believing in God does make a significant difference in the bigge
Seeds for Sowing, Vol. IV - Issue 3, No. 17
Second Sunday of Lent (Year B)
March 19, 2000
* Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18
* Romans 8:31-35, 37
A Changed Perspective
The Difficulties of Living
Life is difficult. Not many people would deny that statement. It’s not easy to live month after month, year after year without running into many very difficult situations--sickness, unemployment, relationship difficulties, feelings of personal inadequacy, separation, death. Often we feel overwhelmed by the many troubles that keep finding their way into our lives. If the load gets too heavy, many people crumble and fall. Some people experience physical breakdowns. Others even lose their sanity.
Life’s troubles have always been part of humanity and always will be. Believing in God doesn’t take away any of those problems nor does it make the emotional and physical pain disappear. But believing in God does make a significant difference in the bigger picture. Our faith gives perspective to the troubles that we all experience.
Perhaps this is what Jesus was doing when he invited Peter, James and John to a high mountain. "And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them". Jesus allowed them to see his glory as the Son of God. He gave them the gift of a divine perspective. And so now they possessed a remarkable picture of their saviour--a picture in their minds that they could call on when suffering and doubt arose. When others saw Jesus being tortured and crucified, many thought they were just seeing another criminal brought to justice, but Peter, James and John had a very different picture of Jesus.
Their way of seeing Jesus was changed because of their experience on the mountaintop. Do you and I have a similar kind of mountaintop experience? Is there something that has happened to us that has changed the way we look at life?
Please listen to this simple story. Mary had grown up knowing that she was different from the other kids, and she hated it. She was born with a cleft palate and had to bear the jokes and stares of cruel children who teased her non-stop about her misshapen lip, crooked nose, and garbled speech. With all the teasing, Mary grew up hating the fact that she was "different". She was convinced that no one, outside her family, could ever love her...until she entered Mrs. Leonard’s class.
Mrs. Leonard had a warm smile, a round face, and shiny brown hair. While everyone in her class liked her, Mary came to love Mrs. Leonard. In the 1950’s, it was common for teachers to give their children an annual hearing test. However, in Mary’s case, in addition to her cleft palate, she was barely able to hear out of one ear. Determined not to let the other children have another "difference" to point out, she would cheat on the test each year. The "whisper test" was given by having a child walk to the classroom door, turn sideways, close one ear with a finger, and then repeat something which the teacher whispered.