Our path to God

Jesus shows us our path to God and our ultimate happiness. After all, who better to show us the way to God than God?

Image by 二 盧

A Legacy of faith

By Norm McGraw

Hebrews 11:1-7
Mark 9:2-13

During this week of Valentine’s Day, we remember not only those we love, but also those we love who are no longer with us. I’ve reached the time in my life when you start to lose old school chums due to age. With the passing of former classmates, you start to wonder what’s truly important in your life.

Certainly, the question of belief (or not) in a Supreme Being is an important subject in anyone’s life. This week’s readings explore the subject of our faith in God and how that affects our lives.

The second sentence of the first reading from Hebrews 11: 1-7 states: “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” The first half of that statement—“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for”—is how a good friend of mine would describe her faith in God.

The second half of the statement is a quasi-scientific suasive argument for faith—“evidence of things not seen.” Another good friend of mine once told me that scientists accept the existence of subatomic particles, which cannot be seen, from the evidence of their effects on other particles in the laboratory.

That is like the belief Noah had in God’s reason for him to build the Ark to avoid the great flood. Again, in Hebrews: ”By faith, Noah warned about (from God) what has not yet seen, with reverence built an ark for the salvation of his household. Through this, he condemned the world and inherited the righteousness that comes through faith.”

This week’s second reading, from the gospel of Mark, describes an ultimate fulfillment of faith—being in God’s presence. The passage tells us what happened when the apostles of Jesus Christ saw him “transfigured before them and his clothes, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.”

The apostle Peter’s response to this event is quite interesting. Mark’s gospel states that Peter reply to Jesus was: “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

His response is consistent with the Israelite tradition of building a tent to house their most sacred objects, like the Ark of the Covenant.  According to Scripture, at one time the Art contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments that God gave Moses.

I must confess, if I were present at the Transfiguration, my reaction would be similar to the responsorial psalm—“I will praise your name for ever, Lord.”

I think that God wanted the apostles to have a clearer idea of Jesus regarding the Trinity. So, the gospel continues: “Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice, ‘This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.’ Suddenly, looking around, the disciples no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.”

Jesus shows us our path to God and our ultimate happiness. After all, who better to show us the way to God than God?

Our lives encompass that journey, and our road map is Holy Scripture.

When we remember those who have passed, aren’t we really praising those whose actions were motivated by God’s Word, or hoping they “found” God in their lives here so they will be with Him forever in the afterlife?

Hopefully, their passing has left us a legacy of faith in God—“the realization of what is hoped for.”

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