“O Lord GOD,” he asked, “how am I to know that I shall possess it?” - GN 15:5-12, 17-18
Today’s epistle from Paul and reading from Genesis talk about being a citizen. With Pope Francis’ return to North America and the funeral of one of the highest ranking Catholics in the United States government makes this an interesting topic during our election season. In the midst of many partisan views and sound bites, Paul pushes me back to the basics. While making decisions about how to conduct my life, with whom to stand, and the effort to be who God made me and calls me to be, how do I give a preferential option to the example of Jesus Christ?
Who I am and how I live my life regularly fall short of the “model I have” in living the Christian life. I get overwhelmed by the enormity of the images of death and hatred. I get impatient (especially during my commute) and react in ways that I am ashamed of, even if it does help fill my CRS Lenten Rice Bowl a little faster. I take for granted the abundant blessings that I have received. It is my own failure each day to ignore the little transfigurations of my own life, in which Jesus’ glory is evident, though only witnessed in hindsight.
Abraham’s testimony in Genesis and the story of the Transfiguration remind us that our faith is rooted in repeated affirmations of God’s goodness, in millenia-long unfolding of God’s mystery to us. We are called to be heirs to and citizens of a Kingdom, already and not-yet in our midst. We are heirs who receive, but do not possess. It is in our nature, at least in mine, to want to set a tent, to concretize, to know I possess the promise. So I take some time this Sunday, second week of Lent, not to build tents, but to sit in the wake of the events of salvation history and allow the echoes to block out the week’s events clamor. I will try to fall silent to make sense of what I have seen and bear witness when the time comes.