Daily Advent Reflections Day 14 – Confusion and Understanding

Readings for Saturday of the Second Week in Advent: Sirach 48:1-4; 9-11; Psalms 80; Matthew 17:9-13

"Tell no one the vision until the Son of man is raised from the dead."  Matthew 17:9

Today's Gospel reading picks up immediately after the Transfiguration, with Jesus descending down the mountain with Peter, James and John.  As he often did after miraculous events, Jesus implores them not to tell anyone about what they had just seen until he was "raised from the dead."  But here again, as we see repeatedly throughout the gospels, the Apostles had no idea what he meant by that statement, or at the very least, misunderstood it.  That they (other than John) would completely abandon Jesus during his Passion illustrates this fact all too well.

And so it should come as no surprise--though it always seems to--that we so often fail to understand or fully comprehend what Jesus is trying to tell us.  Perhaps it comes in the form of an unanswered prayer, or some type of suffering in our life or that of a loved one that appears utterly meaningless, or a particular sin that we cannot seem to conquer.  Yet we cling to Christ and His truth, for as St. Peter said, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life."  (John 6:69)  These words from Romano Guardini summarize our lack of understanding well:

One will be troubled now and then.  Sometimes this reality [i.e. God's will] is vividly, powerfully present; sometimes it is veiled: it withdraws itself.  Sometimes what this truth demands of us is quite obvious; other times it is not at all clear.

So next time you feel yourself confused over God's purpose and plan, unsure about what Jesus would have you do, remember Peter, James and John coming down the mountain.  They had just been given a glimpse of Christ in his resurrected glory, and still they failed to understand what He was telling them.  For as much as sin darkens our intellect to see certain things clearly, the light of Christ illuminates our path.  It is a light that, I pray, will continue to get brighter for each of us as Advent progresses toward the birth of our Lord.

God love you.

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