George Washington was the first president of the United States and one of the founding fathers of the US.
He was well admired for his strong leadership skills that saw him win the first two national elections unanimously.
Once at a banquet, given to some of the officers, a distinguished French Officer asked Washington’s mother, how she had managed to rear such a splendid son.
The mother replied, “I taught him to obey!”
Obedience was the school that he had been trained in, in order to achieve excellence of life!
In Christian life too, obedience ought to be the school in which we are trained, to be effective apostles of the Lord…
…Obedience to the Voice of the Lord
… Obedience to the Will of the Lord
The Gospel of the Day is an exhortation by God to hear the voice of the Lord, to listen to Him and to be obedient to Him.
The Second Sunday of the Season of Lent presents to us the “Transfiguration Event” from the Gospel of St Mark.
The scene of the Transfiguration is indeed a powerfully visual and authoritatively impactful incident.
Jesus takes three disciples – the core team among the Twelve – Peter, James and John – and led them up a high mountain. (Mk 9: 2)
Why were these three chosen…
… and not others?
We can only make some guess-works… because the bottom-line is:
“They were ‘chosen'”
(And, Choice is always a gift, and not a merit!)
• Probably as the one who is the Leader
• The one to whom the Lord entrusts to be the rock on which He would build His Church (Mt 16:18)
• Probably as the one who had an intimate bond with the Lord
• The one who is referred to as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (Jn 13:23)
• Probably as the one who warranted a special privilege, being the first apostle to be martyred.
• The one who would be the first among the apostles to literally lose his life for Jesus (Lk 9:24)
These three also had a privilege of some “firsts”…
• Peter was the “First” Pope of the Church…
• James was the “First” Martyr among the apostles…
• John was the “First” witness to the death of Christ…
The choosing of the three also reflects Jesus as the New Moses!
Moses had chosen seventy (two) elders.
>> But when he went up to the mountain, there were three close men with him: Aaron, Nadab, and Abiu. (Exodus 24:1)
Jesus had chosen twelve apostles.
>> But when he went up to the mountain, there were three close men with him: Peter, James and John (Lk 9:28)
Jesus is the New Moses…
….through whom the New Covenant will be established!
… through whom the New Law will be written on the tablets of the heart!
Up on the mountain, witnessing the glorious and magnificent Transfiguration, the disciples behold their Master, Jesus in dazzling white…joined by Elijah and Moses. (Lk 9:3-4)
And then, they heard a Voice, from the cloud…
“This is my Beloved Son! Listen to Him!” (Mk 9: 7)
“Listen to Him”…is the commandment that is exhorted!
• The Apostles are to listen to the Beloved Son, Jesus and grasp His teachings for life
• The Apostles are to listen to the Beloved Son’s commitment in the path of suffering.
• The Apostles are to listen to the Beloved Son’s trust in God’s Will at every moment
The same words are today echoed boldly and loudly to each one of us: “This is my Beloved Son! Listen to Him!”
• Life will take us through many deserts and desolations of difficulties.
• Life will put us through various storms and hurricanes of hardships.
>> But in all such moments, are we ready and open to listen to the Voice of the Lord?
Abraham in the Old Testament…the Father of Faith… went through such immensely agonizing and hard moments. (Gen 22: 1-3)
Asked to sacrifice “His Only Beloved Son” Isaac… His special one…
… Abraham was torn between listening to his own voice of affection for his child or to the voice of God
… Abraham was shredded between listening to his own reasonable mind or to the incomprehensible plan of God
• But Abraham chose to put his faith in the Lord…and to listen
• He chose to trust absolutely in the providence of God… and to be obedient
Yes, when we are in the dry deserts of life, we are still asked to be totally obedient to God.
>> When we are in the parched phases of life, we ought to fully heed the Voice of the Lord.
The Lord will take us through…
… every crisis
… every desert
… every darkness
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8: 31)
Let us grow in our efforts to be completely obedient to our Master!
>> Let us pray for His grace to be truly listening and following the voice of our Master!
Are we ready to listen and obey the voice of the Lord?
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Obedience is a virtue of so excellent a nature…
… that Our Lord was pleased to mark its observance upon the whole course of His life; thus He often says, He did not come to do His Own will, but that of His Heavenly Father.