Foretaste of Heaven

Foretaste of Heaven

February 21, 2016 | N W | Commitment, Discipleship, Eternal Life, Father Salvador, Lent, St. Luke, Trust

Second Sunday of Lent
February 21, 2016 – Year C
Readings: Gn 15:5-12, 17-18 / Ps 27 / Phil 3:17-4:1 / Lk 9:28B-36
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

From time to time, you see sales representatives in a store who ask to spray perfume on you.  They hope that you will like the scent and purchase some of the perfume.  It is also not uncommon in movie theaters, on TV and on the internet, that you are shown trailers of coming movies.  The theater owners and movie producers hope that giving you a foretaste of coming feature films will convince you to come back and see the entire movie.

In today’s gospel, St. Luke relates his version of the Transfiguration.  Peter, James and John had the privilege of experiencing what could be called an equivalent of a movie trailer, when they had a foretaste of heaven as witnesses of our Lord’s Transfiguration.  They were not only amazed by this great experience, they also felt a joy beyond all telling.  It is not surprising then that St. Peter said, “Master it is good that we are here.  Let us make three tents; one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”  I believe Peter was also thinking that they would build three additional tents, one for him, one for James and one for John.  Peter didn’t want the Transfiguration experience to end. But as St. Luke related, Peter was still speaking when a cloud overshadowed them, and they heard the voice of the heavenly Father proclaim “This is My Son.  Listen to Him.”

Peter, James and John certainly remembered this experience of having the privilege of hearing the revelation of the Father about Jesus for the rest of their lives.  They must have realized that they didn’t need to remain on the mount of Transfiguration to permanently experience the joy of God’s presence. They only needed to carry out what the heavenly Father asked them to do.

Yesterday, Father Paul Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, spoke at his father’s funeral Mass.  In his homily during the Mass, he mentioned a verse from the Letter to the Hebrews, one of my favorites:  “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

The same Jesus who gave Peter, James and John a foretaste of heaven during the Transfiguration is the same Jesus who is present with us at the celebration of this Mass.  He is also the same Jesus whose body, blood, soul and divinity we will receive in Holy Communion in just a few minutes.  If we want to experience the joy of God’s presence for all eternity and not just a few minutes, hours, days or even years, we need to listen to God’s only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and more importantly put into practice His teachings in the Gospel every day of our lives.

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