FAITH, HOPE AND COURAGE
"It’s hopeless, I don’t want to go on." I’m so afraid, I don’t know where to go.” We hear these words at times from people facing difficult challenges, deep interior struggle, but to some extent haven’t considered yet a leap of faith in God. Faith is a gift from God, and for those whose hearts are open, this gift falls like "a dew from heaven."
" SPE SALVI facti sumus" — in hope we were saved, says Saint Paul to the Romans, and likewise to us. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI opens his letter on Christian hope with this truth. We can find so much encouragement from this promise of God by taking to heart the Word of God. Courage comes from the Latin word "cor" which means heart. Courage to live our life in Jesus, to find meaning and joy in him then is born out of faith and the hope we place on Him. The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy ends with "Jesus, I trust in you!”
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The Gospel tells us, witnessed by Peter, James and John, that Jesus “was transfigured before their eyes. His face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes as radiant as light.” This is a historical truth. Peter with all sincerity and certainty said in the second reading, “It was not by way of cleverly concocted myths that we taught you about the coming in power of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we were eyewitnesses of his sovereign majesty….keep your attention closely fixed on it, as you would on a lamp shining in a dark place until the first streaks of dawn appear and the morning star rises in your hearts." What a great ENCOURAGEMENT!
The apostles of Jesus needed to know and experience this truth because later on they will see Jesus persecuted and crucified. They would be shattered but they will hold on in faith to him when God would ultimately confirm his power in the resurrection of Jesus. And on the Pentecost when the Holy Spirit come upon them their fear was completely transformed into boldness and courage, so bold that they lived and died for Jesus. This is what our faith in the Lord’s transfiguration brings us. Even how much challenges or even suffering we face in life, Jesus remains to be our Saviour and Lord. We can hold on to him, in faith and hope.
It is also this time of Jesus’ transfiguration, and also his baptism in the Jordan river, that the Father confirmed Jesus’ identity. "This is my beloved Son on whom my favour rests. Listen to him." There’s so much Jesus can teach us how to live our lives. He is the master and teacher not only of the disciples during his earthly ministry, but to us today, his disciples in his ministry from heaven, from the right hand of the Father. His power and dominion transcends time and spaces, he is the king and Saviour of all. Let us pray for the gift of faith, let us place our hope and trust in Him so that whatever we face in this life’s journey, we will always face them with courage and boldness and the voice of Jesus will be heard in our hearts, "Get up! Do not be afraid."
(Fr Regie, MSP)