We are in the second week of Lent and I hope everyone is keeping to their Lenten promises and growing in faith and perseverence. It is during Lent we hear some of the most familiar gospel stories as well as our most favorites. It could be they are favorites because they are so familiar.
This past weekend we heard the gospel story of the Transfiguration. I always thought it was Jesus showing the disciples his wondrous glory and revealing to them who he really is, God in the flesh, come down to give them hope and salvation. It just seemed so obvious, didn't it? And yes that is what the story is about, but it reveals so much to us about who we are and the promises for us as created by God. It speaks to what glory awaits us in heaven, if only we would listen and keep God's commandments.
In the Transfiguration, Jesus is revealed along side Moses and Elijah. He could have easily been glorified alone on that mountain top and God could still speak the words, "This is my beloved Son, listen to him." But the figures of Moses and Elijah are significant. Jesus is the new Moses, the keeper of the new covenantal Law, the true Keeper of the Law for He is the Word of God, Incarnate. Remember Moses' face shone so bright the people could not look upon him, he had to cover his face. Elijah was a prophet and now Jesus is revealed with Elijah present. The Israelites believed Elijah would appear before the coming of the Lord, this was significant for them. The Law and the Prophets were being fulfilled in Christ Jesus. Jesus in His glory was showing us what promises awaited us if we would but listen.
In another reading this week, we hear about the rich man and the beggar at his doorstep. The rich man dies and goes to the nether world, while the beggar dies and goes to lie in the arms of Abraham. The rich man is revealed the beggar man's fate and ask Abraham to send someone to his brothers to warn them of the consequences of their unholy actions. But Abraham reveals to him that he had prophets in his lifetime and they too have prophets to show them the way. It is a choice we make to listen and to follow God's Laws.
This is what Lent does for us. It is an opportunity to change our ways, to listen to the Word of God, to follow the teaching that has been given to us, and to make our hearts new. We have prophets all round us, beginning with our Pope and bishops and priests to lead and teach us about living a life in Christ. By our Baptism we are called to be prophets to one another, to serve others in their faith as well as their works. Are we listening to those prophets around us, are we open to the change of heart God is calling us to?