Reflection on Scripture
As Christian Catholics, why do we adhere to a way of life that is contrary to the world? In today’s readings the answers are given.
God the Father chose Abram out of all the people on earth to be His own. Abram was a wanderer, raising sheep and traveling from place to place with his family and kinsfolk to graze the herd. Abram was not Jewish or a Zioness. He was no different than the people in the deserts of the middle east. Yet God chose Abram to show the world the plan of salvation and that salvation would come from the Jews.
In Jesus, the plan was fully revealed, and salvation was available to all people. This is the plan referred to by Paul in his Epistle.
The Gospel is the story of the Transfiguration. Jesus showed Himself in His glory, the glory He possessed before the world began. He knew His Apostles would be tested and they needed to be fortified that the sacrifice was worth it. James was the first martyr, Peter hung upside down on a cross because he was not worthy to die as his Master had, and John lived a long life and though many tried, he died naturally but he endured much.
The Transfiguration for us is the story of spiritual development. Why give up sin and believe in the Gospel? Don’t the things that satisfy the senses feel good and make us feel good? We give up sin and strive for a closer relationship with God because of the promise of eternal life and the glory promised us by Jesus. We did not earn the promise or have any claim to the promise. We are the recipients of God’s infinite and unconditional love.
It is not easy to live this life. As my son once said, “Why is it so hard to be good?” Yet we know that one day the suffering in this life will be as nothing compared to the glory that awaits us in eternity. We too will be transformed and made new and our sinful bodies will be raised up and become glorious like the angels in heaven.
But transformation can take place in the here and now. Each day we are afforded the opportunity to draw closer to God and the closer we are to God, the more we grow into the likeness of Jesus. In this relationship, we are transformed and become the messengers of transformation for the human race.
Let us strive this Lent to minister to everyone we meet, so they too, with us, can come to love Jesus more. Let us strive to embrace Jesus in His suffering during the Passion and on the Cross and unite our sufferings to His for the sake of salvation for the human race and to build up the Body of Christ.
May the Holy Spirit guide us on our journey.