Today’s Gospel makes me wonder if Jesus ever got tangry. That’s my word for the kind of frustration I feel when sensing that my busyness isn’t amounting to much. I feel tired from managing all of my bottomless to do lists. And I feel angry when I suddenly notice that my lists are in fact managing me and we’re not headed in the direction I want to go. Tangry. It’s a frustration I feel in my body. The wheels in my stomach start spinning. Nagging questions about my self-worth tighten my shoulders. My breath gets shallow as the walls of my lungs start to close in.
Surely, Jesus’ humanity—not to mention the human context he was immersed in and the human beings he was surrounded by—ensures that he got tangry. So how did He make this embodied experience holy?
Luke’s account of the Transfiguration provides a few concrete action steps. Step out of your busy routine and get your body outside. Move your body to a place where you can feel as close to God as possible. Then pray. Pray that God, from who you can never be separated, helps you reconnect to God’s purpose for you. Pray that God puts you in conversation with your Moses—the parts of you created and chosen by God to join God in the ongoing holy work of repairing the world. Pray that God puts you in conversation with your Elijah—the parts of you that give you holy courage to name, for yourself and others, when priorities are not aligned with God. Converse with these holy parts of yourself—the likeness of God in you—about your desire to be released from the tangriness so you can rejoin what the time management and creativity gurus call flow, deep work, big magic.
- How can you make time—or where can you make space—to reconnect with your God-given purpose and courage this Lent?
- Imagine conversation among you, Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Where would it happen? What would you four talk about? What would that conversation feel like? What in you might be transfigured?
Maureen H. O’Connell is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics in the Department of Religion and Theology at La Salle University. She recently published Undoing the Knots: Five Generations of American Catholic Anti-Blackness with Beacon Press.
Maureen H. O’Connell es profesora asociada de ética cristiana en el departamento de religión y teología de la Universidad La Salle. Recientemente publicó Undoing the Knots: Five Generations of American Catholic Anti-Blackness con Beacon Press.