In the letter to the Philippians, we are reminded of problems that have vexed creation since the beginning: People are more concerned about their stomachs than they are their souls. People focus on being popular instead of doing what is right and just. People build up earthly treasure instead of heavenly riches. It was true in Noah’s day, in Jesus’ day, and it is true in the year 2016.
As we continue our Lenten journey, we might well ask ourselves the question, “Who or what is our god?” For some of us, it might be food or living well. For others, their god is in fame and popularity. And for still others, it may be things of this world that give pleasure.
For Abram, despite his own personal wealth and influence, recognized that he needed to put his trust and focus on God. Because of his unwavering faith, God rewarded him, but more importantly, entered into a special relationship with Abram. This is important for us to realize: we do not need to be faithful so that God will reward us or give us things; rather, we are faithful because in so doing, we develop a close relationship with God.
This is what the new evangelization is all about: becoming close to God so that we can truly count on him as our friend. For many people, God is distant (or rather, they are distant from God). During this Lenten season, we are invited to draw closer to God in order have a personal relationship with him. Just as we have close human friendships, so too God wants us to have a close spiritual relationship.
The scene on Mount Tabor in which Jesus is speaking to Moses and Elijah can be a reality for us as well. As Peter says, “It is good for us to be here.” Indeed it is. We should be close to God and to those holy men and women who have gone before us. But it doesn’t just happen: all relationships take work. Spiritual ones are no different. They take time and energy and they need to evolve and deepen as the years pass.
During this second week of Lent, in your prayer time, ask God what steps you need to take to deepen your relationship with him. Where is your friendship with God weak? What steps do you need to take in order to deepen or strengthen your relationship with God?