Jesus took three apostles, Peter, James and John, up to the mountain to pray.  While they were praying, Jesus was surrounded by a bright light.  Moses appeared on one side and Elijah appeared on the other side.  Jesus was talking to them. Moses symbolized the Law and Elijah symbolized the Prophets.  A voice came out of the light saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.”  Some people think this is a reminder that Jesus is the light of the world.  I think it goes deeper than that.

 The apostles were with Jesus for three years, and they still thought that He was a prophet.  This event took place forty days before His passion and death.  Jesus was using this as one more chance to convince these three that He truly was the Son of God.  Hearing a voice coming out of the light saying, “This is my Son…..” should have been a no-brainer.  Peter still denied Jesus and the rest of them hid until after Pentecost.

We have the advantage of possessing a stronger faith than they did because of the sacraments.  Most of us have never experienced any of the signs that Jesus showed the apostles.  Through the sacraments, we receive a special grace that allows our faith to grow.  The apostles didn’t get the full benefit of this grace until they received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

 When we were baptized, we became children of God.  With the cleansing water and the light of the candle, we are guided on the road to eternal happiness.  The apostles were baptized at some point before Holy Thursday, although the Scriptures are not specific.  The Scriptures were not intended to document everything.

 When we receive the Eucharist, we get spiritual nourishment that gives us the strength to stay on the straight and narrow as we walk down the road of life.  The apostles received the Body and Blood of Christ at His own hands on Holy Thursday.  I still don’t think  they really understood all they were meant to do.

When we received the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation, we became soldiers of Christ.  Now we are not just followers of Jesus; now we have the growing grace of the Holy Spirit along with the Eucharist to walk in Jesus’ footsteps.

After Pentecost, the apostles fully understood who Jesus was and what their responsibilities were.  As they celebrated what we call Mass today, they read from the Old Testament scriptures, and told the people of the “Good News” of Jesus the Messiah.  (Now we also have the New Testament or “Good News” for the readings.)  The apostles were able to forgive sins, preach and consecrate the bread and wine as Jesus did.

I believe that because of how we know Jesus and the graces that are available to us, we have a greater obligation to walk in Jesus’ footsteps.  Our faith and knowledge allow us to love God through our service to others.  We should see Jesus in all of the people that we meet and act accordingly.

God bless you,

Deacon Mike