Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Jesus previews his Resurrection
Based on the Readings Gn 15:5-12, 17-18; Phil 3:17-4:1; Lk 9:28b-36
Scripture offers us signs of God’s fidelity and help for us to grow in faith.
In the reading from Genesis, Abraham, known for his faith in and obedience to God, is the subject of the covenant God made with him. Abraham is promised many descendants – the principal one, of course, being the Messiah who would come some 1,800 years later.
In the second reading, St. Paul challenges the Philippians to “stand firm in the Lord” – not to set their minds on earthly things but to concentrate on their faith in Christ and to be imitators of Christ, not only in words but in actions, to achieve eternal glory.
In the Gospel, Jesus takes Peter, James and John with him and goes up a mountain to pray. The apostles have been with Jesus a long time; he has been teaching them who he is and what it means to be his disciples.
As he prays on the mountaintop, Jesus is transfigured (changed). His face shines as bright and radiant as the sun, and his clothes become whiter and more dazzling than new-fallen snow.
Moses and Elijah appear and talk to Jesus. Moses was given the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and led the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery to the Promised Land. Elijah was a prophet who announced long ago that the Messiah would come; he warned people not to disobey God.
Awaking from sleep, the three apostles are overwhelmed at what they see. A cloud covers them. Out of the cloud the apostles hear a voice saying, “This is my chosen Son, listen to him.” As they look up, the cloud disappears and Jesus stands there alone. Jesus gave Peter, James and John a glimpse of his glory. He allowed them to preview his Resurrection to build up their faith that he is truly the Son of God.
Jesus teaches us to take time off and be alone with him in prayer. He has something to say to us; he wants us to know him and his plan for our lives.