Saturday, May 5: With him I am well pleased
We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 17:1-8
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"
When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don't be afraid." When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
We think of Jesus as the Messiah, but it's helpful to consider him in his many roles, including as a Son seeking to please his Father. Jesus knows he's headed to the cross, but he detours to the mountain to seek the assurance of his Father, for confirmation that he's doing the right thing. Imagine the Son, hearing the voice of his Father telling him: "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
Being a father or mother is hard, but being a daughter or son can be even more challenging. We may daily strive for acceptance, for assurance that we're doing things right, for guidance in the daily struggle and our decisions. Try starting today with a visualization: bright light and warmth shining on you, the reassuring voice of God telling you and all those around: This is my kid. The one I love. The one who pleases me. Sit in that light for a little while, and let your heart begin to understand that truth.