Reading 1 Gn 12:1-4a
The LORD said to Abram:
“Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk
and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.
“I will make of you a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you.
All the communities of the earth
shall find blessing in you.”
Abram went as the LORD directed him.
How many of us are willing to go to an unknown land or take an unknown path because God said so? It should be easy to just follow God well because He’s God, but it is a lot easier said than done. I know for myself, I am scared of the unknown and have a difficult time letting go of control. Abram just went as God directed him, and God promised to bless him and make his name great. I wonder how many times have I not done as God directed and missed blessings merely because I could not let go of my own plans. I want my relationship with the Lord to be more fearless. I need to submit to His Will and understand that God will show me the way to the land He has for me. Trust and love need to be more fully present in my relationship as well because love contains truth, and who would not trust truth.
Reading 2 2 Tm 1:8b-10
Bear your share of hardship for the gospel
with the strength that comes from God.
He saved us and called us to a holy life,
not according to our works
but according to his own design
and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,
but now made manifest
through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus,
who destroyed death and brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel.
Wow isn’t that some insight. We too often rely on our own strength instead of God’s even though it is so readily available. It is not saying following the Gospel is easy, but it is saying that God is providing strength to get through it. We all have different crosses to bear, but God’s strength is the universal remedy. Think about what your share of hardship might be – maybe lust is your weakness; possibly alcohol is your downfall; perhaps pride is what chains you. Our strength runs out and at a fast rate. God’s strength is endless and powerful.
God saved us and called us to a holy life. All these sins, shame, and shackles can go away because we are saved. Christ saved us and destroyed death. He also calls us to a holy life. What does that look like for us? It may be different for every person but the main purpose of your life should be to love Jesus and to be loved by Him. To be holy is to put God before all other things and to strive to live a life that mirrors Christ’s. This may mean us giving certain things up, things that take precedent over God currently. It may mean a reordering of priorities in order to get God where He belongs in your life. Once He is Number One, everything else will fall into place, and life begins to make sense.
Gospel Mt 17:1-9
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
The disciples are very attentive and giving while asking Jesus if they should make 3 tents. They are serving Him, and it is inspiring to read because we should do likewise. We should ask Jesus what He wants of us and make sure we are taking time out of our day to speak with Him. As the disciples did, we should listen to Him, too. So much of the time, I am talking and talking, creating noise, and it does not allow me to listen. God wants to speak to us, too, and if we constantly fill in the space, there is no time for us to hear what He has to say. We need to stop and let Him in rather than be scared of the silence because in the silence, God whispers.
The Transfiguration is yet another example of God’s majesty and mystery. Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus, and this is amazing that these men were seen way after their times. We need to be transformed and molded more and more into the Body of Christ. Our lives must be intertwined with Jesus and made new. Imagine being transfigured with Jesus. First thing that comes to mind is that I am not worthy, but the truth is that Jesus is calling all of us to be those saints that we were made to be, transformed into an Image of Christ. We must believe first this can happen, and secondly make it happen.