“This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Lent is a time of turning to the Lord, and listening to him.
The Lord Jesus going up to Mt. Tabor with Peter, James and John (cf Mk 9:2-10) reminds us of another figure in Scripture who went up a mountain with three companions: Moses when he went up Mt Sinai with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu (cf. Ex 24).
The presence of God was on that mountain and it was covered by the bright luminous cloud of God’s presence. Later when Moses returned to his companions his face and his garments were radiant. And they feared to look upon him. So when Moses told the people of Israel of God’s commands and his plan for Israel, they listened to him.
In the first reading God gave a command and a promise to Abraham: “"Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you."
This sacrifice pre-figures the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus is called God’s “beloved Son”— as Isaac is described as Abraham’s beloved firstborn son. In today’s Epistle, Paul uses exact words drawn from this story to describe how God, like Abraham, did not withhold His only Son, but handed Him over for us on the Cross.
God now reveals that Jesus is the One who fulfills this great plan. As Jesus’ face and garments become radiant with the light and glory of God, Moses and Elijah appear next to him and converse with him about the Law and Prophets, meaning that everything God promised is about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem, by His cross and resurrection.
Just as Moses led Israel through the exodus to the promised land, we are to follow the Lord Jesus to the eternal and heavenly promised land.
“As we sing in today’s Psalm, Jesus believed in the face of His afflictions, and God loosed Him from the bonds of death (see Psalm 116:3).
His rising should give us the courage to face our trials, to offer ourselves totally to the Father—as He did, as Abraham and Isaac did.
Freed from death by His death, we come to this Mass to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and to renew our vows—as His servants and faithful ones.” (Dr. Scott Hahn)
God bless you all,
Father Robert Letona