CHOSEN BY GOD TO LIVE, SUFFER, DIE AND RISE IN HIM
📕Gen 15:5-12, 17-18; Ps 27:1, 7-8b, 8c-9abc, 13-14 (R.v.1a); Phil 3:20 – 4:1; Luke 9:28b-36
🎤CHOSEN BY GOD TO LIVE, SUFFER, DIE AND RISE IN HIM
Do you realize that we are already about twelve days gone into this most holy season of lent? Have you been able to form for yourself an identity of Jesus, who is the reason for this season? That is a very important thing to do if we are able to remain focused on him. Hence, on this second Sunday of lent, the liturgy set out a plan to define that identity for us and encourages us with season to remain attached to that identity and get transformed by it.
Sometime before the pericope we took as our Gospel today, Jesus had asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am… Who do you say I am?” (Luke 9:18-20). They gave series of unsure answers until Peter answered, “The Messiah of God” (Luke 9:20). Indeed, God would put a stamp of authority on that answer when he declares today, “This is my Son, my Chosen…” (Luke 9:35).
In the Old Testament, Moses was chosen to redeem the people of Israel from slavery. Before Moses died, he promised the people that God will raise up for them a prophet like himself (cf. Deut 18:15). The name ‘Moses’ in fact means Messiah, and the people have been waiting for this promised Messiah.
Hence, to satisfy one of their motifs, which is placing Jesus as the new Moses, the Synoptic Gospels arrange this meeting of Jesus, Moses and Elijah on the mountain. Remember that both prophets had experiences of God on the mountain (cf. Exod 24:12-18; 1 Kgs 19:8-13). In this case, what did they come to do?
The content of their discussion is not readily available to us. This is probably because the disciples who should have been awake were overcome with sleep (Luke 9:32). At the point they woke, they only beheld the glory of Jesus and wanted to live only for that glory (cf. Luke 9:33).
However, we can imply that the details of their discussion about the fulfilment of Jesus’ mission (cf. Luke 9:31) would be to remind Jesus that the journey to Jerusalem would not be rosy in the same way it was not rosy for the two prophets. But the dazzling white (Luke 9:29) tells us that suffering would not be the end story, rather it is glory. That dazzling white would appear again at the scene of the resurrection (cf. Luke 24:4).
Therefore, today, we are called to be awake to God in prayer. We should not allow the devil to put us to sleep and so miss out important lessons Jesus is teaching us. Secondly, the world of the believer in Christ might be filled with thorns, but his faith in God would definitely take him to glory. That is the message that Abraham stands to give us in the First Reading. His faith in God was reckoned to him as righteousness (Gen 15:6).
That faith is one that came with pains – he had to leave his own nation (Gen 12:1ff) and at another point, almost sacrificed his only son (cf. Gen 22:1ff). We can see! This faith is one which invites us to move out of our selfish selves and live as the children of the kingdom of heaven, waiting in hope for our Lord Jesus Christ to change our lowly body after the pattern of his own glorious body (cf. Phil 3:20-21).
I encourage you my dear friend, no matter the pains that come your way in your Christian journey, hold on to the old rugged cross of Christ because of our sure hope that you shall exchange it some day for a crown of glory.
May that hope always strengthen you and may it not fail you in the end. Amen.
Have a blessed Sunday. Peace be with you.