Having a sense of purpose is a hugely important aspect of our lives. It seems that people can do or endure practically anything, if they can do so with a sense that it means something, that there is a reason for it.
Because that is true, it is really not surprising that for the most of us, our lives are given meaning by those moments when we somehow sort of see through all of the complexity and mystery of life, and, perhaps only for a moment, truly get the point, truly see the purpose behind all that we are asked to do and to bear. Such moments are truly revelation. Life is so much more that what it seems to be. There is at work in our lives a tremendous power, a power that is saving, re-creating the universe: a power whose presence is far beyond our ability to directly experience, but which nonetheless is so intimately bound up with even the smallest details of our lives, that in fact we are agents of that power. That power is God’s creative power that has been poured into our lives and is now at work within those lives.
For the apostles who witnessed the transfiguration, it was a moment of revelation. It is as if they were allowed to see beyond their immediate experience, to see what was really happening there, the presence of God. They came away from that moment changed men.
The first reading pictures another sad moment. At some point in his life, Abraham experienced his contact with God in such a way that he felt compelled to respond with the sacrifice of his son. It wasn’t until God intervened that Abraham realised he had been wrong, that what he thought was happening was not. He was not being asked to satisfy God’s anger or jealousy.
Rather, he was being called by God to be the first step in what was to be a centuries’ long process of Revelation, a process in which God would slowly proclaim ownership of all of human life, all human effort.
So for us as well even in Level 5 lockdown. There is a great deal more going on in our lives than we suspect, a great deal more than we are capable of experiencing right now. We are all of us accomplishing a great deal more than we think in our everyday lives. All of the daily details of living have been charged with an infinite value, and that is true because our lives have been claimed by God, who consistently acts through our efforts, according to God’s design.
We cannot sense that presence any more than could the apostles before the Transfiguration.
Like then, we can only trustingly abandon ourselves to the fact that it is true.