Second Sunday of Lent (Gen 15:5-18; Phil 3:17 – 4:1: Luke 9:28 -36)
Yesterday in the evening, tired, hungry and thirsty I was in the terrace laying on a mat facing up gazing the sky. It was a lovely scenic view – the crescent moon was there smiling at me right on top of me and the galaxies of stars twinkling at me. “Wow!” I said. “What a lovely night view- gazing at the moon and the starts in the night sky!” For a moment I forgot my hunger. Immediately I was reminded of Yahweh – God of Abraham, to whom God spoke when he was gazing at the night sky.
“Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you can!” God told Abram. “So shall your descendants be.” He believed. May be doubt also! But the Lord continued. ” I am the Lord who brought your from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” Remember, when the Lord called Abram this is what He had promised him. “Go from your country and your kindred and your fathers’ house to the Land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing …. and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” From then on, seventy year old Abram along with his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot is journeying in the land of Canaan. This time when God repeated his promise, Abram doubted. Like we all say, “Test before your trust!”. He raised questions. “Lord, How am to know that I shall possess it?” Then the Lord asked him to bring a heifer, a female goat, a ram – all three year old and a turtle dove and young pigeon. Abram sacrificed all this. And we are told how a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that Day the Lord God made a covenant with Abram and reiterated his triple blessings.
Doubt ruptures our relationship. But it is so very common. In our relationship we start doubting! Where does this doubt come from? Husbands doubt wives and wives doubt husbands. Even best friends often start doubting. Abram had doubts too. Despite God’s repeated promises he gets frustrated, “O Lord God, what will you give me! I continue to be childless.” When will you give, how will you give, so on and so forth. The Lord had to clear his doubts and convince him by ratifying a covenant.
Today’s Gospel give us the transfiguration scene. Jesus is transfigured before the three disciples – Peter, John and James. They saw two men – Moses, who led the Israelite out of Egypt through the Red Sea and gave them the Law at Mount Sinai and Elijah, the great prophet taken up to heaven and whose return was announced by Prophet Malachi before the coming of the Lord. Again, the transfiguration scene is heavenly that Peter, John and James are lost to themselves. Peter even tells Jesus of making three tents – one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. And then the confirming voice from the clouds comes “This is my Son, my beloved, listen to him.”
The event of Transfiguration of Jesus is in deed a covenant that Jesus established with the three disciples to make them strong in their wavering faith. This event confirms for the three disciples and for us all – that the law and the prophets find their fulfillment, their perfection, in the person of Jesus Christ. Presence of Moses, and the Prophet Elijah and the talk about Jesus’ death on the cross tell us that it is on the Cross, in his death and Resurrection, that Christ would perfectly reveal the plan for our salvation. That it is in Jesus Christ – the triple blessings promised to Abraham – the nations, the land and the universal blessings to all the people of the earth gets fulfillment.
Do you still doubt? Do you still waver? Doubts is the seed sown by Satan to rupture our relationship. It all starts with that, we no longer keep trusting. Finally relationship – or covenant – is broken! Mind you, this seed of doubt is sowed by the evil one – Satan. Remember, Adam and Eve! Today by reflecting on the two covenants – Covenant of God with Abraham and the covenant of Jesus with his transfiguration – we must understand that God is continually for us and with us. That he continually scans the virus of doubts sown by the evil one and confirms his love for us. Can we, in our turn, stop doubting and keep trusting Him?
Lent is the time to mend our ruptured relationship with God, oneself, with others and with the nature. One way to mend that ruptured relationship is to believe, to trust and stop doubting. Doubts come when we are dissatisfied with life, with what we have and what we are. May this lent be a time to experience that God has filled us with his manifold blessings and graces. May we preserve them and be content and give no place to Satan to sow his seeds of dissatisfaction and doubts. Amen.