One of the most important “learnings” (or re-learnings for most of us) on the Christian journey is to learn how to trust; in particular – to Trust God. God has never given any of us a reason not to trust Him, although we sometimes see things that way. People give us many reasons not to trust them, we even give ourselves reasons not to be trusted and thus to be untrusting of others. Whatever those reasons or circumstances we need to re-learn how to trust God as Christians. In today’s First Reading at Mass, we hear the story of Abraham and Isaac and it may seem from our vantage point that God plays with Abraham to see how close he will come to trusting Him and then at the final moment stops the plan to sacrifice or kill Isaac and praises Him for His steadfast trust. I know that I have heard many reflections on this Gospel from a humanistic point of view give us a sense of God’s desire for blind and complete devotion to Him. In fact, nothing could be more superficial because it would be wrong for us to assume that was His relationship with Abraham. Instead, I would suggest that this Gospel highlights trusting in God no matter what the circumstances. God is not telling Abraham to sacrifice or kill his son, but instead to trust in Him.
The same can be said for the Apostles today as they spend time with the Lord on the mountain and He is Transfigured before their very eyes. As we can see in this Gospel, there’s not a lot made clear, there’s not a lot of understanding given them here. Instead, they encounter a foretaste of heaven which they will have to hang onto when the tough days which lay ahead come to them. They are yet to experience the Paschal Mystery, and when they do the faith and trust that is being built up here, is going to be tested to be certain.
So too is this something that we need to ponder with our own Christian lives. Are we ready to trust totally and completely in the Lord? Are we giving thanks everyday for what we are given and the grace and blessing, the Glory of God we experience each time we have an encounter with the Lord in prayer, through the Sacraments, in our faith communities? Are we ready for the time when each one of us will be called upon to fully participate in the Paschal Mystery (the suffering, death, Resurrection and then participation with the Communion of Saints) which we will be called to do? Do we listen for the voice of God calling out: “Behold, this is my Beloved with whom I am well pleased!” He declares us beloved too as we join our Lord in the Sacraments. We join our Lord as we live out lives of Discipleship, lives committed to deep and committed vocations.
Let us consider the faith and trust we have in the Lord our God today and every day of our lives.