The First Reading tells us Abraham brought Isaac up Mount Moriah to offer as a sacrifice but was stopped by an angel. Instead, a ram appeared which Abraham took and sacrificed in place of Isaac. This shows that God does not want anyone to die. He will not take Isaac’s life and instead, as Abraham said, God provided a substitute to Isaac’s life on his mountain. God does not want any person to die because he wants everyone to live with him for eternity. Which is why he sent his Son to take on flesh and die for us. In the Gospel today, Jesus went up with three of his close disciples and on top of the mountain, Jesus was transfigured. Moses and Elijah appeared, talking to Jesus. As the cloud overshadowed them, a voice spoke from the cloud: This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him. When the cloud lifted, they only saw Jesus.
Abraham met God’s messenger on the mountain and God revealed himself as the God of life, who provides for what he needs. In the Gospel, God revealed Jesus as his Son, the Beloved. And he gave a command: Listen to him. If we want to know God, we need to climb the mountain of prayer. This is not a physical mountain, but it means take some effort to seek God. And when we seek him, we will find him. He will reveal himself to us, probably in a way that we do not expect. God revealed himself as the God of life, not only of someone who gives life, but someone who gives lives, as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. Being Giver of life also means God gives them power to conquer their enemies and be the source of blessing for others.
These promises are fulfilled in the Person of Jesus, whom the Father reveals as his Son, the Beloved. This Beloved is the One who will possess the gate of his enemies and all nations will gain blessing for themselves, because Jesus obeyed his Father unto death.
God is the God of Power and of Life. Nothing can defeat us, not even death. St Paul confidently proclaims this: If God is for us, who is against us? … who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? When God is with us, there is nothing to fear. Whatever people do against us, they may prevail for a while, but we are assured of victory over our enemies.
What are you going through these days? Does God seem absent to you? Perhaps you are like Abraham on his way up the mountain, whose son is to be sacrificed. Thinking of how God can be faithful yet, demand the death of your son. Like Abraham, we are called to follow and obey, because God is faithful. He will not give us what is evil. He will not go against his promises. He is the God of life, therefore, if we obey him, we will have life. When we follow God, St Paul said: in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Nothing will ever separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus! Trust God. He is faithful and will not disappoint us. He gives life always, even if it leads us to death, because we know, new life comes after death.
Lord, help me to walk through darkness and death. I am afraid, yet I will trust you because I know you are the God of Life and only in obedience will I find life.