Trust to Transformation

March 17, 2019

One of the most awesome and beautiful mysteries of our faith is the Incarnation. God, who is invisible, becomes visible as a human person, Jesus. This extraordinary mystery regarding Jesus is that he is both Divine and human, simultaneously in a single person.

Our Gospel reading from last Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent, tells us of Jesus’ humanity through his experiencing the temptation in the desert. I realized that I always thought that Jesus was tempted during his 40 days of fasting, but the Gospel clearly states that the temptation did not happen until after Jesus finished his fast. As a human being, he was likely famished. His natural instincts would demand food. Because there is no food in the desert, Jesus would be required to use his miraculous powers to transform stones into bread. Why is this a temptation when He already completed the fast? When Israelites were wandering in the desert, they complained that they would die because there was no food. God rained down manna from heaven for them. Unlike the Israelites, Jesus completely trusted that God will provide for him, because it was the Holy Spirit who initially led him into the desert.

This Sunday, the Second Sunday of Lent, presents the Divine nature in the person of Jesus through the Transfiguration. Just as Jesus has faith in God in his humanity, he likewise trusts God in his divinity to proceed forward with his suffering, death and Resurrection. It is Jesus’ complete trust and faith in God that the voice of God the Father commanded the Apostles to “listen to him.” Listening to Jesus requires the Apostles to abandon their worldly beliefs in a political Messiah and take on the mindset of Jesus.

Essentially, faith is trust in God. It is this faith that will transform the Apostles. It is this faith that will transform our minds, hearts and souls and reflect in our daily life.

Arthur Ashe, the legendary Wimbledon tennis player, was dying of cancer. He received letters from his fans worldwide. One of which read: “Why did God select you for such a dreadful disease?” Ashe replied, “The world over, 5 crore children start playing tennis, 50 lakhs learn the game, 5 lakh turn professional; 50,000 come to the circuit, 5,000 reach Grand Slams, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to the semifinals, 2 to the finals. When I won the Wimbledon crown, I never asked God, “Why me?” Today, in pain, I shouldn’t be asking God, “Why me?”

Kathryn Richards