The Transfiguration, Giovanni Bellini, c.1480, Oil on panel, Museo di Capodimonti, Naples.
Do you know anyone who is depressed or without hope? We all experience hard times – disappointment in others, the death of a loved one, failure in our career, a difficult childhood – but God can help us to be resilient through these times and see past them. In today’s Gospel, we see how those disciples who are closest to the Lord experience a foretaste of the glory of Heaven. They don’t fully understand the event they have just witnessed until after Jesus’ death and resurrection, but by witnessing Jesus’ glory, they are strengthened for the hard times ahead. If I have one piece of advice for those who struggle with depression, I would say, “Get close to the Lord.” Read the Gospels, talk to God as if he is present with you every moment – and He will strengthen you for your journey, often in unpredictable ways – and quite possibly remove those trials which are too great for you to bear. Just ask him!
If you’re looking for an uplifting commentary on our mystical consciousness and how we are helped by having a sense of God’s purpose for our lives, listen to Bishop Robert Barron’s homily for today on The Glorified Body.
If you’re more interested in a Bible Study perspective on these readings, try these:
Abraham and Isaac, Henry Davenport Northrop, 1894, Treasures of the Bible, illustration.
This Sunday’s readings link Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac with the Transfiguration of Christ. What’s the connection? And how are we to respond when people like Richard Dawkins say things like this in The God Delusion?
“Any modern legal system would have prosecuted Abraham for child abuse, and if he had actually carried through his plan to sacrifice Isaac, we would have convicted him of first degree murder.”
The trouble with Dawkins is that he does not understand the manner of God’s revelation of himself, and neither does he want to. If you really desire to understand God, pray for a heart that is humble and open to a mystical experience of him. Nothing gets in the way of experiencing God like arrogance and self-righteousness. And read a commentary that explains how the Bible works, such as Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins’ Walking with God.