Monday, March 5, 2012

Transfigured by a YES to God

Women of Faith:
Companions on a journey: part 2. The Women’s YES!!

I was privileged to observe miracles on a “mountain top with God” for the women who attended this weekend’s CEW retreat. Just as I observed last weekend at the men’s CEW, this weekend’s miracles of transformation happened because the women said “YES” to attending a CEW weekend which focused on God’s plan instead of their own.

“And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes become dazzling white.” Mk 9: 2-10 (The Transfiguration)

And through prayer and reflection--they were transfigured before me. Their smiles as they left CEW yesterday reflected the Spirit which was rained down, in abundance, upon them. Blessed by forgiveness they were able to truly open their hearts to the Lord.

We can all be blessed with those truly radiant smiles just by saying YES in our everyday WWJD choices. (God doesn’t say it requires a full weekend—he says it requires everyday!!)

The women were transformed because by giving their time to God, God gave them what he promises all of us: Freedom! They were able to give up their worries and their sins and replace it with the trust, the hope and the strength of His love. They were given the freedom to become one with him.

For many who answered YES to the retreat it was very much a commitment. As we live our normal, hectic lives, this choice may have seemed to be a great burden. Things like laundry, cooking and cleaning were left behind, abandoned, and probably stockpiled for their return home. They were asked to give up work, family commitments, children’s events, and social gatherings.

In yesterday’s gospel we see the ultimate burden when God asked Abraham to give up his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to him.

“God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am!" he replied. Then God said: "Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you."

“…Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven, "Abraham, Abraham!" "Here I am!" he answered. "Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger. "Do not do the least thing to him. I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
“Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly …. You shall find blessing-all this because you obeyed my command."
Gen 22: 1-18

When we do not withhold ourselves from God, when we trust God completely, our burdens will be lifted, we will become free and God will bless us abundantly. We can then allow ourselves to become transfigured just as Christ was transfigured.

We are promised that we will be blessed by God, ABUNDANTLY.

“Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow. Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool. If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land; but if you refuse and resist, the sword shall consume you: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken! Is 1: 16-20

We are promised transformation thru a washing away of all of our sins--FORGIVENESS.

We are promised: “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?” Rm 8: 31-32

We are promised eternal life.

But so many of us will say, “I don’t have the time to spend a whole weekend at a retreat, it’s too much of a burden.”

And I am reminded of Mother Theresa’s thoughts: “If I truly want something, I will make the time; if we do not choose to spend time with God, then God must not be our priority.”

Heavenly Father, I praise your transforming love in all of those who seek you and are my companions on this journey. May each of us make you our priority. Help us to choose wisely—in our friends, in our spending and in our commitments. Help us to choose life. Help us choose to spend time with you. Thank you for transforming each of us with your love to be better wives, better mothers, better daughters and better friends. Amen.

Will I say Yes to God? Will I put God first by praying daily? Will I be an example and make time to attend church with my family or do I give in and allow other events to get in the way of Sunday church services? Will I trust God enough to quit worrying about events and people I cannot control?

Will I love enough to forgive those who have done me wrong? Will I defend my faith by defending life?

Will I allow myself to be transfigured? What am I willing to give up for God?

May you be blessed abundantly because you answered “YES!” to God,

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