As followers of Christ, tests of our faith come to challenge us from all around. They come from family members, friends, politicians, community leaders and from our workplaces. These influences can challenge our faith.
We see an extreme example in the first reading with the testing of Abraham’s faith. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his own son by God. Abraham focused on putting his faith and trust in the Lord even though he had to be struggling inside. The Lord’s messenger stopped Abraham and the Lord rewarded him for his great faith.
During the transfiguration God proclaims to Peter, James and John; this is my Son listen to him. They too will undergo trials in their faith that will lead to suffering and death. Like Abraham, they listened to the Lord even when they did not totally understand. During the transfiguration, Peter understood the moment was glorious, but he did not realize that Jesus’ glory would only be realized on the cross. Our journey is the same as Abraham, Peter, James, and John. We are to ascend to be united with Christ. However, we can get caught up in life’s glorious moments and individual desires. We sometimes lose track that our real important moment in time is carrying our own cross following the path of Jesus. How will we respond through the tests?
Lent is the perfect time to examine ourselves asking, are we all in with our faith or is there something separating us from giving all that we have to God? Lent is a time of self-sacrifice and testing of our faith. The act of self-denial breaks us out of our daily routine and reminds us of our own need for conversion of heart. That’s of course, if we truly deny ourselves. If we give something up that is easy only to return to it with interest after Lent, then where is the sacrifice? When the real test comes, will we be able to endure in faith?