Several years ago some Church researcher quizzed parishioners about what they expected from their priest. They found the following: The results of a computerized survey of Catholics indicate the perfect priest preaches exactly ten minutes. He condemns sins but never upsets anyone. He works from 6:00 AM until midnight and is also a janitor. He makes $100 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books, drives a good car, and gives about $100 weekly to the poor. He is 30 years old and has preached 30 years. He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all of his time with senior citizens. The perfect priest smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work. He makes 15 calls daily on parish families, shut-ins and the hospitalized, and is always in his office when needed. My experience since ordination has taught me that there are many Catholics who have expectations somewhat along these lines. In fact, these were the expectations I had of myself throughout my first year here. Something happened to me at about 13 months into my assignment here, though. I found myself getting consistently less than six hours of sleep a night, drinking at least six cups of coffee a day to keep going and working from fourteen to sixteen hours a day six days a week. One Sunday when a couple parishioners told me that they were concerned that I going to leave the priesthood because I seemed so discouraged, I realized some things had to change. I needed to slow down. I still have to spend a fair bit of time applying the brakes on my own expectations and those of parishioners, but the last seven months have been considerably better. The problem was that I was involved in a frenzy of apostolic activity and I had never bothered to ask God if this was His will for me. I just presumed that it was what I had to do to fit into an active parish. When I finally got around to asking God, He reminded me of all of those things He had taught me about myself while I was in seminary. One of those things was that if became I workaholic priest who didn't have a good prayer life, and send adequate time sleeping and studying, I would be a very bad priest. In today's Gospel, we encounter Jesus Transfigured. When Our Lord was Transfigured, the Divine Glory that was concealed by His human nature was made visible to Peter, James and John. The evangelists struggle to give us adequate language to describe this event. Matthew tells us that Jesus' "face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light." Mark says that Jesus "garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them." Luke relates that "as [Jesus] was praying the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white." Peter, James and John were looking on the face of the divine majesty when Jesus was transfigured. This beatific vision of God's glory is what makes heaven so great. In heaven, the saints find perfect happiness in this vision of the glory of God. You'd think that these three apostles would have been content to enjoy this glimpse of heaven while it lasted, wanting to soak it in as much as they could. But, what did they do? Peter asked Jesus if it would be okay to build booths for Him, Moses and Elijah. Instead of contemplating the Glory of the Lord, Peter was thinking of how he could make this spiritual experience into a stably housed ministry. At this point God the Father breaks in, "This is my Beloved Son, Listen to Him!" In other words, O Peter, Peter, YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT! STOP DOING and BE STILL and LOOK AT JESUS! I am showing you the only thing that is really worth seeing and all you can think about is your latest idea for a new program. And what is the point of the Transfiguration? The point is this: If we listen to Jesus in our lives we will hear Him revealing to us our identity as a beloved child of our Heavenly Father. And if we are open to experiencing that, I mean if we really make it the center of our lives, we will know a peace and joy that is like nothing that the world and all of our activism can give us. The problem is that we are too busy to hear the voice of Jesus. The most difficult examination of conscience for us to make as regards busyness has to do with our activities in the parish. Here I am specifically addressing those who are active in parish ministries. Does your involvement as a volunteer in parish ministries get in the way of growth in your prayer life? Do your commitments in the parish adversely affect your marriage or relationships with your family? Do you feel burnt out? Do you have trouble saying no to one of the priests or parish staff members when they ask you to be involved in something? We can come up with all sorts of justifications for becoming activists. But all of them are ultimately negations of trust in Divine Providence. I didn't think that was what I was doing when I was working so hard in my first 13 months here, but I was. I thought I was so important to God' s plan for the salvation of souls that I was neglecting the care of my own. There are a lot of successful type-a personalities in this parish. While this generally translates to worldly advancement, progress in the life of grace works much differently. It comes through listening to voice of the Father speaking these words through Jesus, "You are my beloved, in whom I am well pleased." The Father speaks these words unconditionally. The only way we can frustrate them is through our unrepented sins. Anything, even parish activities, that gets in the way of hearing this voice on a consistent basis, is not from God. It is true that the Gospel is a call to spiritual perfection; it is not a call to perfection as the world understands it. The Gospel call to perfection is a call to tune out all of the distractions in our lives and hear the voice of the Father saying to us in Jesus, "You are my beloved, with whom I am well pleased." Are we listening?