I imagine that, like me, you have gone through a stretch of time when you feel as if you are being pulled in many different directions. The situation seems chaotic; you feel as if you will never be able to catch up.  You worry about those tasks that are going undone. So perhaps you take some time and go apart, seeking a sense of peace and a renewal of your soul.

In Matthew 17: 1-9, Jesus and his followers, Peter, James, and John accompany him up the mountain. There they are bedazzled by an outpouring the of the Holy Spirit. Jesus received an affirmation, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” Peter, James, and John were overcome with fear and fell to the ground. Jesus raised them up and asked that they tell no one what they had witnessed.

Jesus wanted to keep this experience quiet, and so he silenced them. There are times when we experience an event that is so amazing that we do not have the words to explain to another person. So we keep this experience in our hearts.

I imagine that this is some of what Mary experienced as she was told she would bear God’s son in the world. She was alone as she pondered in her heart what the angel said, and what this would mean for her life.

But what we soon realize is that we are truly never alone. We are always in the presence of God through the Holy Spirit. God knows when we are stressed, when we feel weighed down with more than we can handle. It is often during these moments that the Spirit of God seems particularly close; calming us, sustaining us, guiding us, and loving us.