Today’s readings from Genesis and Romans continue the theme of hope and faithfulness. Abraham is learning that his hope must ultimately rest in God, even when to continue to hope defies his expectations. The radical nature of faith is highlighted here. True Christian hope and belief can never be reduced to a simple formula or logical proposition. To step out in faith is to not only affirm but to enter into the field of Divine mystery.
These mysteries are vividly on display in the selections from Mark. Jesus reveals that he will defy all human expectations for a triumphant and conquering Messiah. Rather, the true Messiah will encounter rejection and suffering. His transfiguration is a precursor of the Divine authentication of Resurrection that can come after Jesus has suffered to the end. The great lesson that salvation comes not in clinging to our nature and life but in giving it away is being taught in every step Jesus takes towards the cross.