The LORD said to Abram:
‘Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk
and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.’
And he was transfigured before them…
Anyone who is raised in the Christian faith knows that we are called to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Additionally, those of us who are Catholic are called to follow the teachings and traditions that have been handed down to us through the millennia by the Church. And yet, today’s readings remind us that us being called is something even greater than simply following.
Consider Abram. He was called by God to leave everything he knew, his family, his land, his culture, his entire way of life. Yes, he was still to be a herdsman, but if you have ever done any traveling, you know that when you go to a foreign land, even the seemingly normal can be transformed into the unknown. Abram wasn’t given any instructions beyond, “Go!” and still he went. Yes, the rewards he was promised were great. But Abram was no spring chicken. (We’re told he was 75 years old). I still have a few years before I reach that milestone, and already I find myself deeply resisting change in my life.
In the gospel we hear of the Transfiguration of Jesus. The three disciples that are with him,] are at a loss as to what to do. Peter, bless his heart, wants to set up camp! But I am reminded of what Jesus said in John 14:12: “…whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these…” Are we called to be transfigured as Jesus was?
This is the call of Lent. To be transformed, to leave behind our old ways, to allow God to transfigure us so we can see ourselves as His beloved daughters and sons. This Lent it is my prayer that we be responsive to, and participate in, the transformative power of God.
Talib Huff is a retired teacher and a member of the retreat team at Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center in Citrus Heights, California. You can contact him at [email protected].