We’ve talked a lot, preached a lot about this journey we are on together. This journey to God. Many times Bishop Joseph or I have said that this path is one we walk together side by side. And that sounds wonderful – to not be alone on our journey through life. And it’s true. We do walk together. Sometimes we stumble together. Other times we fall together. But together, we help each other up, dust each other off, and point each other back in the right direction and start walking again.
Sometimes we even get knocked back a couple of steps and we forget that we have made any forward progress at all. But together we dust ourselves off, straighten our shoulders and push forward again. This is our life.
The season of Lent reminds us that we are NOT yet at our final destination. The road ahead of us is still long and winding and rocky. And that even though we may make slow progress, we should focus on the fact that we are making progress.
Abraham in the first reading today was told to pack up his things, his family, and leave where he was. And that God would show him where to go. Notice that God didn’t reveal much of anything to him about the road ahead – “Go forth to a land that I will show you.” But he gives Abraham a promise that he will become a great nation. And Abraham, knowing his wife was barren, knowing nothing of where he was going, what he would face, said simply, “OK, let’s go.” Abraham went as the Lord directed.
My sisters and brothers, we are like Abraham. We have been called to “Go!” and as Paul says “Bear our share of the hardship which the gospel entails.” We haven’t been shown the road – or if we were, I totally missed that meeting. We go where Christ leads and do as he commands: Love unconditionally, forgive unconditionally, serve unconditionally.
We stumble, we fall. We have successes and we have failures. But we do not give up. We do not give in. Why?
Because we have seen the risen and glorified Christ. We have seen what we can be, what we will be when this journey is over. Jesus, on that mountain allowed Peter, James and John to see ahead what awaits Jesus, and in turn them. He allowed them to see that death was not the end. If you will remember, the Transfiguration happened after his announcement to the disciples that he was going to Jerusalem to suffer and be put to death. It was given to them as a comfort that whatever this life may do to you, if you keep your eyes, your mind, your heart, and your hands focused on Jesus, then the reward is great.
Three steps forward, two steps back. But together we keep our eyes locked on Jesus – crucified and transfigured. That is our destination. And when we trip and fall, we hear the same words Jesus spoke to Peter, James and John: “Get up! Do not be afraid.”