17 March 2019: The Rare Voice of the Father

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Reading 1: Genesis 12:1-4; Reading 2:  2 Timothy 1:8-10;  Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9
This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him.
1. The Rare Voice of the Father
During the entire life of Jesus, the Father spoke only twice: first, at his baptism, the start of his mission; then, in the middle of his public ministry on Mount Tabor. Both the times it was only to say that Jesus was his Beloved Son, in whom he found his delight. Jesus is the Delight of his Father! He had nothing else to say, for two reasons: first, these little words, ‘Son’, ‘Beloved’ and ‘Delighted’ say everything; secondly Jesus himself is his Eternal and Permanent and Only Word. In him everything has been said, and nothing he has to say will be said apart from this Word made Flesh. It is ‘through him, with him and in him’ everything comes to us form the Father, and goes back to the Father!
2. Two Mountains: Tabor and Calvary
This Tabor incident occurs at a crucial crossroads in the public life of Jesus. He had proclaimed the Kingdom for two years, but seemed to be getting nowhere. The people were seeking only his miracles and cures. The leaders were out to eliminate him. His close disciples were intent on capturing positions in the “Kingdom”! The death of John the Baptist was a premonition of the fate that was awaiting him. Jesus must have been confused, humanly speaking. “Am I on the right path?” he might have wondered. He needed to have a word with his Father. So, the Father sent his two special servants, Moses and Elijah, to reassure him that he was delighted because he was on the right path, even if it would lead him from Tabor to Calvary! And he would tell the three apostles present there also to ‘listen to him’.
3. Transfiguration
The change in the appearance itself was a secondary issue. May be whenever Jesus was alone with his Father, he was transfigured, like Moses in Horeb! May be the apostles happened to see this condition only on that occasion! This time the Father had a rare extra word for them. “Listen to him” he thundered. They are called to get rid of their own preconceptions of the Messiah and accept Jesus for who he truly was. It was a final call for conversion also for the disciples, solemnly coming from the Father himself

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