While he was praying, his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah…
“Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.” Just so, he added, “shall your descendants be”. In our first reading from the Book of Genesis, we hear how God entered into a covenant with Abram. The custom of Abram’s time was for both parties who were entering into a covenant to stand between the sacrificial offerings and swear an oath. When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces. God’s presence is symbolized by the flaming torch. So we see that it is God alone who passes through the offerings. This shows us that God does not attach any conditions to the covenant that He makes with Abram. We too enter into a covenant with God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit at our Baptism. Similarly, there are no conditions attached. Baptism forever changes us. As sons and daughters of God, we too, like Abram are called to put our faith in the Lord.
Baptism is the beginning of our faith journey. St. Paul in today’s second reading in the Letter to the Philippians urges us to remember that our citizenship is in heaven. We are not to live with minds occupied with earthly things. St. Paul tells us to hold fast to the covenant (which was forged with God at our Baptism). We live responsibly while on earth, faith-filled stewards of the time, talent and treasure that God gives us.
We carry the cross, knowing that Jesus will lead us to glory. Prior to the Transfiguration that we hear about in today’s gospel, Jesus had been talking to His disciples about the cross. Jesus reveals Himself in glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit to help prepare His disciples to see that the cross would lead to glory.
“This is my chosen Son, listen to him.” As we enter this second week of Lent, let us take these words to heart. Let us listen to Jesus speak to us in the Scriptures, in prayer, in the sacraments, in the homilies at Mass and through each other.
God bless all!