Hidden Riches of Christ

by Fr. Ed Liptak, SDB

Lent opened with a prayer seeking the hidden riches of Christ. The Sundays following invite us to make Jesus Christ more and more a part of our daily lives. “It is your face, Lord, that I seek. Hide not your face.” Of old, to seek the face of God meant to seek his presence. We need to grow in our desire to find Christ and thus discover the joy of serving him. The opening prayer of this Second Sunday of Lent begs that helped by God’s word, “With spiritual insight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory.”                                   

What does God’s word suggest this Sunday? Genesis tells of Abraham’s obedience. By it he and his people would be blessed, but not only! He will be our blessing too, for “All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you.” That includes us, who like Abraham want to purify ourselves by doing ‘as the LORD directs,’ and we do ‘place our trust in him,’ as the Sunday Psalm suggests.

St. Paul in his reading urges us as Timothy did, to “Bear your share of hardship with the strength that comes from God.” Life does have its hardships, but they can be made a way to take up our own cross walking our way to Calvary with Christ. In addition, we may have imposed some ‘hardships’ on ourselves as Lenten penance, for ‘with our savior Christ Jesus,’ we want to ‘destroy death and find immortal life through his Word,’ Purified by God-given strength to respond well to Sacred Scripture, we walk with our beloved Jesus in spiritual joy toward the open gates of the Kingdom of Heaven.

This strength comes only from faith. That is what our Gospel impresses on us today. Peter, James, and John received a special gift from God. They saw Jesus change before their very eyes. He was at the start of his journey to Calvary. They would see him crucified, reduced utterly to battered and torn humanity. Yet, divine Jesus in shimmering garments alight with glory now shone before them. Peter, James, and John would write about him in the Sacred Scriptures. Jesus wanted their voices to be strengthened by this experience of who he truly was. They were aided by the voice of the Father, “This is my beloved Son. Hear him!”

We all need the vision of Jesus fixed in our mind.  Faith and trust in him are what lead us to the riches of heaven. May heaven be ours.