Today's second reading from Paul's letter to Timothy is a good example of the way the Scripture readings at Mass complement each other. With the Gospel text as our background, let us look at the second reading.
Paul counsels us to bear hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God. The apostles go with Jesus up a high mountain, which would certainly be an arduous climb, and there they will meet Moses and Elijah, both of whom were experienced mountain climbers who bore more than their share of hardships for the word of God!
Paul goes on to say that we are called to a holy life according to God's design. Recall the call of Moses and how he tried to argue his way out of God's plan for him, as does Elijah when he receives his commission from God on the same mountain as Moses. We too are called and all too often try to bargain our way out of it, but God knows what plans he has for us, plans for peace and not disaster (Jer. 29:11).
The grace to carry out our call was bestowed on us before time began, Paul says, but is now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Jesus Christ. And what is that call we have received? It is the call to a new life which we received when we were baptized into Christ Jesus who came among us to make us heirs of God and co-heirs with him. As the Apostles looked in awe on the transfigured Christ they heard the voice of the Father command them: Listen to Him; he is my beloved Son. And if you listen, you too will be sons of the Father.
Paul concludes: Christ Jesus had brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. It is in him that we receive the abundance of life, life eternal.