In this week’s Gospel Jesus took his disciples up the mountain where he was transfigured in their presence. Here they get a glimpse of the resurrection. This takes place in the context of the Journey to Jerusalem where Jesus will ultimately suffer and die on the cross. Jesus knew his disciples’ resilience would be severely tested so he gave them a glimpse of what was to come afterwards in the hope they would hold on to their faith in the face of extreme opposition.
Last Tuesday night the parish held a Parents Information Night for parents of children who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in May this year. As part of my presentation I spoke about the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit that their children will receive through this Sacrament. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of fortitude. This means having the courage to remain strong even in the face of opposition. Confirmation reminds us of Pentecost where the disciples received the Holy Spirit.
Accepting and deciding to use these gifts enabled them to make the transition from being receivers of the Word to being doers of the Word. This in turn enabled them to finally see clearly everything that Jesus had taught them before. They knew that painful as it was death was not the final word. Resurrection is the final word.
During this Season of Lent we are invited to journey with Jesus to Jerusalem. We do that when we decide to put to death those things in our lives which prevent us from being fully human. Sometimes this can involve choices which will be opposed by others. This can naturally test our resilience. It is at these times that we need to draw on the gift of fortitude which was given to us at our own Confirmation. This in turn also helps us to fully understand what Jesus is trying to teach us. His giving us a glimpse of the resurrection in today’s Gospel reminds us that whatever life throws at us all will be ok in the end.