Abraham’s Journey and Our Journey
One of the longest journeys in the world is one’s own life journey. For some, it is short, and for others, it is long. Among the many great journeys in the Bible, Abraham’s journey is the most important and unique. At the word of God, Abraham left all the securities of life, like home, and family, to set out for a foreign country. Abraham’s journey was met with lots of difficulties. Nevertheless, Abraham had one marvelous asset of a great faith in God. That great faith empowered him to meet all the challenges in his entire life journey. Blessed is the one who possesses the compass of faith. It is important that a journey should have a destination. Though it was unclear at first, Abraham set out in faith, and in the end, arrived at a clear destination, the land God promised to show him. To that end, he walked as a pilgrim and reached his final destination.
In many respects, the journey of life for many is a journey into the unknown. Due to wars, conflicts and other circumstances, many people are leaving their own country and moving to another country, not clearly knowing where and how their future is going to be. In a strict sense, all of us are travellers here on this earth. This is very true, even for a person who has never left home. While we are all on a common journey, each one’s journey is unique. What is very important in our life’s journey is for each one of us to possess the value of faith in God. Without this faith or hope in God, the journey of our life, no matter how pleasurable it may be, would be robbed of ultimate meaning. In essence, it would be a journey to nowhere. But with a strong faith in God, our life is a journey to the promised land of eternal life. The hardships, difficulties and persecutions we encounter during our journey will, in fact, add to the joy of arrival.
We all know too well that faith is essential in our life’s journey, and yet almost all of us want our journey to be good and safe without any hardship and difficulties. We also want our journey to be easy going to our final destination. Today’s Gospel reading speaks of a rough trip to the mountain of the transfiguration. Their journey began when Peter began to confess that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah. When Peter confessed, he had a clear idea in his mind that they had found the Messiah who would bring the earthly kingdom and that Jesus would provide everything they would need. They had no clue what the Messiah was all about. By nature, we are all seekers of pleasures and avoiders of pain. And so, none of us are ready to embrace the hardships and difficulties.
Jesus wanted to teach them there is no gain whatsoever without pain or a cross in our lives. On the mountaintop, after praying Jesus became transfigured before them as the Glory of His Divinity shone as white as snow. By this, Jesus is seen as bringing the Law and the prophets to fulfilment. In other words, Jesus is the Messiah. Like the disciples, we too can experience rare moments of light and joy. We get glimpses of the promised land towards which we are travelling in faith. These moments of transfiguration are given to us to strengthen us for our everyday tasks and to enable us to face the cross that in some shape or form comes to everyone. This experience is meant to help us face our life’s journey with all its difficulties and challenges and to embrace the high and the low moments of our life.
St. Eugene, the founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, had that Abrahamic faith, and encouraged his priests and brothers to “leave nothing un-dared.” May his example inspire us all to be attentive to the movement of the Spirit of God within our hearts and minds, step out in faith like Abraham, respond especially to the possibility of a vocation to marriage, religious life, priesthood or the single state, and then give ourselves wholeheartedly to living out that vocation until we arrive at our final destination – eternal life.
By Susai Jesu, OMI