Who do we listen to? I’m the parent. I’m the teacher. I’m the boss. I’m the priest. I’m smarter. I’m stronger. Listen to me because that person says so.
What is God’s reasoning? “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am welled pleased. Listen to Him.” God is well-pleased with Jesus. Last week we heard him quick soundly overcome the devil’s temptations, and Jesus is fully committed to carrying out the Father’s plan for our salvation.
God is not telling us to listen to Jesus just because, though being God, that is a valid answer. He’s telling us to listen to him, but it involves a promise. This is a promise of salvation. A promise of being restored to something even greater than we are.
You see this with Abraham in our first reading. Got tells him to leave his home, the familiar, and go to a different land that He will show him. But not for no reason. There’s a promise. “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you.” Because of that promise, Abraham followed. It would not always be easy, he didn’t always understand, but he never doubted that promise, so he listened. And that promise would be fulfilled.
In a way, God is asking us to trust him to a land that he will show us. To an eternal home. The glories of heaven. Now, that doesn’t mean to abandon the earth, far from it. It means to travel and move from a purely earthly existence, toward a divine one. This is a journey that is transformative. If you’ve ever traveled across the country, you notice how the view changes along the way. Our journey involves a change of our interior view. No longer looking at selfishness, or sins, but looking a love and devotion. This view allows us to see and live more clearly and confidently, with less fear and doubt.
Sometimes that travel is tough, and has hardships. That’s why Paul says in our second reading, “Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. He saved us and called us to a holy life.” When Jesus transfigured, he showed those three disciples and glimpse of that promise, and the glory that it involved. It is that promise which we must always keep in mind. And because of that promise, we listen to him. We must always keep that promise in mind, that promise of our salvation and restoration.
Listen to Jesus. Listen to where he wants to take you. Listen to how he wants to direct you, to guide you, to restore you. He’s leading you toward greater communion toward him and toward others. For you specifically, is he leading you toward greater prayer? Toward greater charity? Toward greater involvement in your parish or community? Toward greater boldness in living and sharing your faith? If you want to know, listen to him.