The story of Abraham ends with the frightening moment of the sacrifice of Isaac. In a powerful way, God stops the slaughtering of the little boy who himself, has some great concerns over the sacrificial adventure of his father Abraham. God holds the arms of Abraham and stops him from cutting the throat of the boy. They are two great lessons to learn from Abraham: First of all, his faith in God and his willingness to total trust. How much can we learn from him today? If God is with us nothing can be against us. If God is with us, nothing can do us harm. These words from Saint Paul for today’s’ second reading, finds echoed to the trust and the unconditional faith of Abraham. Because his promise endure forever, and He always finds a way to bring us new consolation.
Talking about new consolation, the Apostles at the scene of the Transfiguration, find some answers to many of their unanswered questions. Six days after Jesus announced to the Apostles about his imminent death, the disciples were troubled and confused. I believe the experience of the Transfiguration came as a surprise but most of all, as a certain reassurance of the person of Jesus and his true identity. The place up the mountain has a very important theological significance. It is about the Mont Zion where the Temple of Jerusalem was built. Mountain, in the context of the biblical revelation, is a place for great encounter with God. So, up to the mountain, Jesus Transfigured in the presence of the three Apostles Peter, John, and James. They are the same ones who are going to witness his agony in the garden.
The Transfiguration has been for the three, a great moment of consolation in the midst of their doubt and unworthiness. This great manifestation seems to be a decisive moment for the disciples to be part of a greater conversation between the Old and the New, the prophet and the law, that found resonance in the person of Jesus. Yes indeed, the voice that from the cloud has confirmed it. “This is my beloved Son, Listen to Him”. Jesus is the beloved Son of God ,whom the Father sent to save humanity. The only response is to listen to Him.
What can we learn from this Gospel? First of all, the moment we spent in the presence of God can give us the strength to overcome the hardship we are experiencing every day in our lives. Second, no matter what is happening in our lives, we are sons and daughters of God. God’s love for us is unconditional. Third, we cannot only just taking pleasure in our comfort. We have a job to do. We need to go down the mountain and share with others our unconditional trust in God and our true faith.
Rev. Ducasse Francois, Pastor