Gen. 15:5-12, 17-18; Phil. 3:17-4:1; Lk. 9:28b-36
The First Reading from the Book of Genesis tells about Abram’s belief in the promise of the Lord that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain's. By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death... By faith Noah built an ark to save his household. In complete obedience to the Lord God, such echoing living faith, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Rahab were all made righteous. The Bible is filled with amazing characters who had been saved from many tormenting experiences. There are many Bible stories on faith that can also help us steady our faith while we are going through storm. The story of Deborah’s faith in hard times. Queen Esther’s faith in challenging times. The Story of Daniel’s faithfulness and the Lion’s den inspire us to keep our faith.
There is a story of a man who lost his way in the desert.
It was a very hot day and the sands were glittering like gold in a desert. Andrew, who was touring the place lost his way in the desert.
He couldn’t find his way back and the water in his bottle was completely dried. He was in desperate search of water, Otherwise, he will die due to dehydration
As he struggled walking in the desert, he saw a small hut at a distance. Initially, he thought it was just an Illusion. But he continued walking towards it and as he reached clones, he realized it was a real hut.
He opened the door and found nobody was there. It seemed like, the place has been abandoned for a long time.
He was surprised to see a hand water pump that had all connections intact and a pipeline to the ground.
Then he started pumping but there was no sign of water. And he continued his effort and he gave up finally due to exhaustion.
He started searching the hut for any other source of water. Then he found a bottle of water hidden in the corner.
He was very happy and when he was about to drink the water, he found a piece of paper attached to it.
In the paper, it was written “Please use this water to start the pump. It works. After you have done, don’t forget to refill the bottle again.”
After reading the message in the paper, he went into dilemma “Will the pump work, if I use this water? Is the pump in good condition?”
“Can I trust what is written in the paper? If it is false, then my last source of water will be wasted”.
He paused for a minute and closed his eyes and prayed.
Then he poured the water from the bottle into the pump and started pumping it.
Soon, he heard a bubbling sound and water started pouring out.
There was a moment of relief on his face. He drank the water and filled his bottle. Then he got refreshed and refilled the bottle from the hut.
He stayed in the hut for some time and looked around. Then he was a pencil and a map explaining the direction to the nearby village from the hut location.
He was happy that his faith in the water pump has worked. Similarly, he believed that the map will also direct him in the right direction.
Then he wrote in the paper “Have faith. It works”. And he kept both the bottle and paper to the exact place from where he took. Happily, he left the hut
In our life, there will be times where we need faith to move forward. The moment we start believing, things will fall in our place.
Last Sunday in the Gospel we listened to the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. There is nothing in the wilderness except the stretch of barren land. Hence, wilderness is a place of want. Want of shelter, want of water, want of food, want of guidance to keep the location. We go through such conditions in our lives too. We too are tempted in our faith in time of want. In the wilderness of our life, we experience the want of love, want of comfort, want of consolation, want of support, want of material needs, want of financial support, want of emotional assistance, and want of physical help. These are the times we are tempted to give up our faith. We see it clearly in the life of Job.
In our lives too in time of want the devil will appear in the form of a well wisher, a friend, a family member, a benevolent benefactor and in many other forms.
When Jesus overcame all these temptations it led to his transfiguration. We are destined to overcome all these. It should lead us to our transfiguration.
During today's Gospel Reading we heard that Jesus went up the mountain to pray with three Apostles, Peter, John and James. While they were on the mountain, the appearance of the face of Jesus changed and His clothing became dazzling white. Then, Moses and Elijah appeared and started talking to Jesus.
The event did not pass unnoticed. Peter and the other two disciples witnessed the glory of the Lord Jesus. They witnessed, as far as it is humanly possible to see with the human eyes, the brilliance that comes with the transforming glory that awaits those who will be changed in the image of Jesus Christ.
When we are able to over the temptations in our lives we too will be transformed like Jesus. The radiance of a man of faith will reflect in us. This season of prayer and fasting should help us to achieve this goal.