Living the Gospel – February 28, 2021

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Today’s readings, which included the names of several familiar persons in sacred Scripture, are simply amazing! If we ever need to look for inspiration, courage and the value of obedience in our lives, we can learn more from these men. In our first reading, Abraham (who was later described as the “rock and the quarry” from which Israel descended) was asked to sacrifice his beloved son as an offering to God. When God saw that he was willing to sacrifice the most precious thing in his life, He spoke to Abraham, promising “in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing—all this because you obeyed.…”

The Psalmist’s prayer – “My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem”. …May that also be our prayer.

In today’s Gospel, describing the Transfiguration of Jesus – Jesus’ companions (Peter, James and John, who accompanied Jesus to the mountain) were in awe at the sight of Jesus transfigured in light and glory. During this stunning vision, they also saw Moses and Elijah. They knew that, many generations earlier, God had spoken to Moses, telling him “If you hearken to my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my special possession…you shall be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.” Elijah, as we know, was a zealous prophet of God who, in fidelity to God, defeated the prophets of Baal in an ordeal on Mount Carmel.

All these forefathers of faith, like the child Samuel, whose story we heard a few weeks ago, heard the voice of God. And now THEY heard the voice of God tell them to listen to Jesus – what a magnificent moment!

As I was reflecting on these men – who they were, and who they later became, I was stunned to see how they were transformed by obedience to God’s instructions. It wasn’t easy. They didn’t know God’s plan for them, nor did they understand all that a covenant with God would entail. We know that they made a commitment to listen and obey. Like us, they didn’t do it perfectly. This journey, for me, includes an essential part of the season of Lent…repentance, trusting, caring for my family with faith and love, even when I don’t fully understand how to do it. Even when I fail. May we all listen and obey.

Wishing everyone a glorious Lent,
Dorothy Hathway Forbes, OCDS