Empowerment from the Father

Mark 9: 2-13
Heb 11: 1-7 / Psa 145

This is My Beloved Son. Listen to Him.
(Mark 9:7)

Lead me Lord to Your heights sublime,
And there behold Your radiant face;
In Your presence bide for a time
To be empowered by Your grace.

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There He was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters — one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant. And they asked Him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”

Reflection

Jesus needed this divine encounter to prepare Himself for His crucifixion. He wanted to hear His Father’s voice for reassurance, that He was pleased with Him, and that He loved Him. Coming down from the mountain, our Lord was ready to face His tormentors and the jaws of death in another mountain. Moses and Elijah, God’s greatest prophet and greatest leader had appeared to reassure Him of the glory that awaited Him upon the completion of His mission. But the best reassurance and empowerment had come from the loving voice of the Father Himself, Who was pleased with His Son.

As a young boy, there was nothing more fulfilling for me than doing what I believed was pleasing to my father. As a war veteran and former chief of police, he was a disciplinarian that his eleven children regarded with great fear and reverence. His word was law, and most of the things he taught us have remained indelible in our lives. My trust in his word was so absolute that I could set out to accomplish whatever he ordered or even merely suggested. As a 13-year-old weakling, stricken with asthma, sinusitis and migraine, my father told me I needed to build up muscles to support my weak physical structure. In just a few days, I was able to build my own backyard gym, consisting of a chinning pole, parallel bars, abdominal board, and a crude barbell made out of tin cans with poured cement. After a few months of working out in my crude personal gym, I had built up enough muscles to scare the neighborhood bully.

We all need to spend quiet moments of meditation with our heavenly Father for our inspiration and spiritual development. We need to hear His voice in our prayer time and in His Word, the Holy Bible. Nothing is impossible when we believe that what we are doing is according to His will. As the Book of Wisdom assures us: Those who trust in God shall understand truth, and shall abide with Him in love: because grace and mercy are with His holy ones, and His care is with His elect (Wis.3:9). We also have complete trust in the words of Psalm 91: You have the Lord for your refuge; you have made the Most High your stronghold. No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent. Whoever clings to Me I will deliver; whoever knows My Name I will set on high. I will satisfy them and show them My saving power (Ps.91:9-16).

Father God, grant that I may hear Your voice in quiet moments with You, reassuring me of Your love, so that nothing will be impossible for me to do for Your glory. Amen.

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