We Are Beloved
“From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: This is MY BELOVED….” Mt 17:5
Since the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus, he has been preparing his apostles and disciples for THIS coming to Jerusalem, coming to suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law and be killed under Roman Imperial power. Peter and all, including all of us, resist this! Jesus rebukes our refusal to understand and we are called Satan and stumbling blocks!
We can only imagine the anguish of Jesus sensing what is going to happen to him. The anguish that happens to people threatened and caught in war, driven from their homes and country. Like prisoners awaiting execution, especially unjustly, like people receiving a medical diagnosis that is a death sentence….
Jesus said to his followers, “If anyone would come after me, they must deny themselves…and follow….” Fully aware of what is ultimately going to happen to him, Jesus invites Peter, James and John to come with him up to the high mountain and pray with him. It is on the top of this mountain, after an arduous climb that Jesus and the others experience a dazzling and extraordinary moment of consolation. Peter, James and John see Jesus transformed. His face is glowing and his garments turn white as snow, and they see him conversing with Moses and Elijah. Peter speaks up and says: It is good to be here, I want to stay! Suddenly a CLOUD envelops them and from the CLOUD a voice is heard: “This is my chosen/beloved, listen to him.” Imagine how Jesus must have felt hearing his beloved Father calling him chosen/beloved…Let us each imagine the Father calling us beloved/chosen because we deeply desire to follow Jesus in his life, death and resurrection; and have consented to live justly growing in humility, compassion and mercy for all of God’s people and all of creation.