As author Judith Viorst might say, I’m having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Lent. I gave up sweets, and I pretty much eat something sweet every day. I vowed to say a daily rosary. Yep, that’s pretty much hit or miss. I read my daily Lenten email faithfully, but if you asked me to tell you what I read by nightfall, I would likely be unable to do so. In fact, I’m pretty much like St. Peter, only he ended up being a fervent servant of God, and I’m so sure how I’ll end my days on earth.
St. Peter is pretty much my guide for Lent, and really for my entire spiritual life. Frankly, he was just a goofball. He fell asleep when he shouldn’t. He was unfaithful. It’s true, he did do right by his mother-in-law. I think I did too, so there’s that.
This weekend’s gospel was the story of the Transfiguration. I never quite got the Transfiguration. I mean, I know that Jesus’ usually-drab robes turned dazzling white, as if they had been washed with Tide if you are to believe the commercials. But what was God’s purpose for that particular event? Why did Moses and Elijah come visit Jesus as opposed to, say, Abraham and Isaiah, and what were they talking about? How come Peter, James, and John fell asleep instead of praying with Jesus? At least they won’t do that when Jesus is praying prior to his crucifixion. Right?
And then, when they woke up and saw what was happening, Peter wanted to put up three tents. The gospel tells us that God intervened and said from the clouds, “This is my chosen Son. Listen to him.” However, I think what God might have wanted to say was, “Peter, for the love of, well, Me, what are you thinking? My beloved Son, a heavy hitter in the Jewish world, and a popular prophet are standing before you, and your idea is to build three tents? What are you, an Eagle Scout?”
Well, God is probably a lot more patient than me, and Jesus certainly is. The gospel says that after God spoke, everything went back to normal. I’ll bet, however, Jesus was giving Peter one of those looks like I used to give Court when he was being wiggly in church.
But I identify with Peter because though he reminds me of Gilligan of Gilligan’s Island fame, he has a good heart and great intentions. So do I. I’ll bet if Peter gave up hummus for Lent, he would fail just like me and my apparent inability to give up Golden Spoon frozen yogurt with hot fudge and Heath Bar chips. Quite frankly, I probably couldn’t give up hummus either. I love hummus.
By the way, when I posed questions about the point of the Transfiguration, I’m not like the REAL spiritual bloggers who would provide an answer or at least some things to think about. Instead, I really am wondering what it meant and why it happened. It’s one of the first things I’m going to ask God if/when I get to heaven. That, and why he let the Patriots win so many Super Bowls.