Gen. 12:1–4 / Ps. 33:4–5, 18–20, 22 / 2 Tim. 1:8–10 / Mt. 17:1–9
Today’s Gospel portrays Jesus as a new and greater Moses.
Moses also took three companions up a mountain and on the seventh day was overshadowed by the shining cloud of God’s presence. He, too, spoke with God and his face and clothing were made radiant in the encounter (see Exodus 24, 34).
But in today’s Lenten liturgy, the Church wants us to look back past Moses. Indeed, we are asked to contemplate what today’s Epistle calls God’s “design … from before time began.”
With his promises to Abram in today’s First Reading, God formed the people through whom he would reveal himself and bestow his blessings on all humanity.
He later elevated these promises to eternal covenants and changed Abram’s name to Abraham, promising that he would be father of a host nation (see Genesis 17:5). In remembrance of his covenant with Abraham he raised up Moses (see Exodus 2:24; 3:8), and later swore an everlasting kingdom to David’s sons (see Jeremiah 33:26).
In Jesus’ transfiguration today, he is revealed as the One through whom God fulfills his divine plan from of old.
Moses foretold a prophet like him to whom Israel would listen (see Deuteronomy 18:15, 18), and Isaiah foretold an anointed servant in whom God would be well-pleased (see Isaiah 42:1). Jesus is this prophet and this servant, as the Voice on the mountain tells us today.
By faith we have been made children of the covenant with Abraham (see Galatians 3:7–9; Acts 3:25). He calls us, too, to a holy life, to follow his Son to the heavenly homeland he has promised. We know, as we sing in today’s Psalm, that we who hope in him will be delivered from death.
So like our father in faith, we go forth as the Lord directs us: “Listen to him!”