Aug 6 – Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Today we celebrate the occasion on which Christ revealed Himself in shining splendour to Peter, James, and John. Moses and Elijah were present, and are taken to signify the Law and the Prophets. They testify to Jesus as the promised Messiah. God the Father also proclaimed him as such, saying, “This is my Beloved Son. Listen to him.” For a moment, the veil is drawn aside, and men still on earth are permitted a glimpse of the heavenly reality, the glory of the Eternal Triune God.
“This is my Son, the Beloved.”
I can honestly say that I don’t have a relationship with my birth father.
He left the family when I was in primary school and up till today, I still don’t know what were the reasons for him leaving. I have very vague memories of my father, but I do remember, very vividly, my family’s life after that. We moved from flat to flat, spending nights at my grandparents or at my aunt’s, until Mum managed to purchase a flat with her sister when I was in secondary school.
Money was scarce then and Mum had to find work in factories and eventually finding a perm job as a chambermaid in a hotel. All this to put my brother and I through school, providing a roof over our heads and food on the table. Life was not easy.
I was always envious of my friends who had fathers that taught them how to play sports, buy things for them, picked them up when they fell, giving advice or just being there for them. I often wondered why my father left us to fend for ourselves.
All through those difficult times, I faithfully attended catechism classes, Sunday masses and even Saturday Novena sessions with Mum. I also have memories of my grandmother and mum praying the rosary in the mornings. I realise now that Mama Mary held my family close to her and entrusted us to Jesus. But I did not have a relationship with God the Father.
However there have always been prompts that God the Father wants me to experience His love and mercy. One of my favourable parables was ‘The Prodigal Son’. I used to focus on how the son repents and returns to the father, but the parable also mentions that the father spotted the son from far away, ran to him and embraced him in all his filth. This showed that the father kept looking out for the son and always knew that the son would return.
At a retreat, in one of the para-liturgies, I also felt a warmness around me, like God the Father was embracing me in a hug, comforting me and letting me know that He has been always been with me all this time and was blessing me during those difficult growing-up years.
The breakthrough finally came after a ‘death-bed’ confession, where I poured out all my sins and I really felt God’s forgiveness and mercy. It felt like the channel to Him was finally unclogged, and I could finally hear His voice. A soft voice, as described by the prophet Elijah…
“You are my son, the Beloved.”
(Today’s OXYGEN by Calvin Wee)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I love you. Thank you for being with us in all our good and bad times. You are always blessing us even when we do not deserve it. Grace us, heavenly Father, with the conviction to never take you for granted and bless us with open hearts and ears that we may always hear your voice. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Thank you heavenly Father, for letting us be called your sons and daughters. Thank you Father, for granting us those Tabor moments and hearing your voice. Never let us grow distant from you. Amen.