May the light of Christ’s glory fill you with hope and peace!
The readings this weekend fill us with a sense of the kind of pride that God wants us to have as his children. They also lead us to the hope that will sustain us through difficulties along the way.
Abram, because he listened to the Lord and put into practice what was asked of him, was promised blessings. But God, being good beyond our dreams, was not satisfied with just blessing Abram so he also promised Abram that he would be a source of blessing to others as well.
In the Gospel, Jesus leads his disciples up into the presence and glory of God. The story uses the word “transfigured” to describe the change in his appearance revealing the fullness of God’s light and glory shining through his body and his humanity. The voice from the cloud confirms Jesus’ identity as Son of God and directs the disciples to listen to him, which means believe him and put into practice what he says to do.
What do these readings give us today? The context is that Abram has to leave home, his place of comfort and go on a journey. Along the way he has to trust in God’s invisible presence and there he discovers his identity as God’s chosen one. At the time he was baptized, Jesus was identified as God’s beloved and here again on the mountain his identity is confirmed. But now Jesus is on the way to the hill of Calvary where he will suffer and die – for our sake. The change in his appearance on Calvary does not reflect his glory as the Son of God rather; it manifests our human disfiguration caused by sin. Jesus gives the disciples a glimpse of his true glory as a kind of food that will sustain them as they witness his crucifixion and death. The hope that Jesus gives the disciples is given to us today to sustain us through the journey of Lent and the rest of our lives. The glory that Jesus shows the disciples on the mountain is the glory that he will share with those who follow him through the call to leave their own comfort zone and struggle for conversion in life and finally death as they hope in the resurrection. Through this part of Lent, we are being punctured: experiencing the pain of our own shortcomings and sins. Our first inclination is to blame others or deny that the problem is within ourselves. Repentance, turning our hearts to God, is the path to peace and healing. Today, as we turn to God, Jesus lifts us with confidence as he says “rise, do not be afraid,” keep going! I love you! I will make you a blessing to all and you will share in my glory!
Peace to you! +++ Fr. Peter