March 5, 2023: Transformation, Fear, and God’s Voice

Feb 23, 2023

Jesus chose three disciples, Peter, James, and John, to come with him up the mountain. Little did they know what was about to unfold! Without warning, Jesus was transfigured into a dazzling white light. Then, Elijah and Moses show up in the clouds! Peter offers to make three tents for Jesus, Elijah, and Moses. Imagine yourself being there; how would you react?

Clearly, Peter was thinking about shelter to house the three. Then, when “the voice” from the brilliant cloud spoke to them, fear gripped them, and Peter, James, and John fell to the ground and hid their faces. Jesus reached out to quell their fear as they also became transformed by the brilliant light and voice from the cloud. They heard God’s voice and followed Jesus to the end.

How many times do we hide our faces because we are afraid? Is it fear of God? Fear of the other? Or is it fear because there is just too much to do, and we ignore God’s voice?

Fear dissipates when we pay attention, when we hear God’s voice, and discern how we can walk with Jesus to become transformed and help transform injustices. During this Lenten season, it may be as simple as asking Jesus to walk with you in your daily routine. Take time this Lent to discern your fears and pay attention to God’s voice. Where is God calling you to dig deeper? Or, you may have a clear message of where you are called to be of service. Either way, you will also be transformed when you hear God’s voice and follow the path of Jesus.

Sometimes, we can be pulled in many directions and want to assist in everything. Yet, we can see by this Gospel passage that doing more isn’t always the way God is showing us. Sometimes, we need to wait, discern, and understand the delicate balance between saying yes to everything and pausing and reflecting on and engaging in those things that are more efficient and meaningful.

As Pastoral Associate for Ignatian Social Justice, many service trip opportunities flood my email. I view each one with a discerning heart and listen to where God is calling us to be of direct service to the marginalized in our country. The National Y Alumni Service project reached out to Y Alumni and friends of the YMCA. This is a four-year project to build four Tiny Homes in Dupree, South Dakota, on the Seven Council Fires (Lakota Sioux) Cheyenne River Reservation. There is a desperate need for housing on the Reservation, and this project will give a real home to Native American mothers and children facing housing insecurity. We don’t hear about the plight of our Native American sisters and brothers, yet there is a severe housing shortage on many Reservations.

Last October, eight parishioners from St. Ignatius Loyola, spearheaded by Ignatian Social Justice, took part in the inaugural year of building these Tiny Homes. God’s voice beckoned us to be of service here. As participants in Wave 5, we carried the walls from the trailer, caulked the walls, and installed the walls on the first Tiny Home.

It is our goal this September to participate in Wave 5 again. We are seeking volunteers in good health who would like to participate in this project, and we are also reaching out to fundraise for this Service Project. We are grateful for your generosity in helping send us out so that together, we can build Tiny Homes for the Lakota on the Cheyenne River Reservation.

In Gratitude,

Jean Santopatre, Pastoral Associate