Last weekend, Fr. Brian Park delivered a wonderful homily on the Transfiguration from the perspective of St. Peter. He began by reminding that less than a week before Jesus, Peter, James and John ascended Mount Tabor, Jesus told His disciples for the first time that He was going to Jerusalem to suffer and die. Peter wanted none of this news and pulled Jesus aside to correct Him. The future saint simply could not believe that this could be God’s plan.
Father closed his homily with a stark declaration: There is no glory without the cross.
Sometimes I find myself in Peter’s shoes, listening to the Lord as best I can and trying to understand—then finally crying out in exasperation, “God, what are you doing?!” I look at the plan unfolding around me and cannot see the sense in it, so I stand in the breach, athwart God’s will, to challenge the One who breathed me into being.
O foolish man! I am no Moses—and God’s will is never thwarted.
Once I realize that God’s plan will unfold whether I embrace it or not, I raise another cry: “What am I going to do?” This could be an expression of humble obedience, asking the Lord how I can be of service to Him in this situation. But too often, it is not. Instead, it’s a complaint—an expression of woe-is-me, because God is challenging my expectations and changing my plans.
Such has been the last two days. Nothing has gone according to my plan or schedule, and I went to bed last night thinking, “What am I going to do?”
I have no control over what God is doing. My only agency is to surrender and embrace it. And I don’t want to.
But as I watch the sun rise this morning, a new question dawned on me. It wasn’t the self-pitying question I slept on—“What am I going to do?”—but a question of anticipation and hope: “God of wonders, what are You going to do?”
This is the question of the surrendered soul and humbled heart, that recognizes, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
This is the question that looks past the cross to the glory rising just beyond the horizon.
Note: This post appeared in the Sunday, March 7, issue of the St. Michael Catholic Church bulletin.