Have you ever experienced something that really challenged your faith? It might have been a sudden death, a serious illness, the loss of a job, betrayal by a spouse or a friend, or the reality of war, poverty, and injustice in our world. Maybe it was a combination of things that led you to question God’s love, or even God’s very existence.
Jesus’ friends certainly had their faith challenged by his betrayal, arrest, and violent execution. Yet Jesus knew that this would happen, and that’s why he allowed Peter, James and John to see him transfigured in glory. He wanted to give them something to hold on to during and after the crucifixion. They could remember that moment when Jesus shone like the sun, and hope that Jesus’ death wasn’t the final word, and believe that there was something else, something better, yet to come.
There’s a lesson here for us. Whenever we face a crisis of faith, whenever our belief in God and his love is challenged for whatever reason, we can look back to those times that God has touched our lives and revealed some of his goodness and power to us, and we can be strengthened by that.
We can recall a prayer answered, an uplifting brush with grace, a time Scripture spoke directly to our heart, or an instance where God used a situation or another person to guide our life in a certain direction. And of course we can always bring to mind what Jesus did for us during his ministry on earth. When reflect on these things, our faith is strengthened, just as the transfiguration was able to strengthen the disciples after the crucifixion.
Jesus wants us to do this. Ironic as it sounds, we might say that when our faith is shaken Jesus wants us to remember, in order that we might not forget- that he loves us, is always with us, has a plan for us, brings good our of evil, and that is greatest wish, is that we spend eternity with him, in heaven.
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/080611.shtml