We read in Luke’s gospel that Jesus took his friends Peter, James and John up a mountain to a place of peace and quiet so they could pray. In the midst of his own prayer something happened within him that showed itself in his very appearance, his faced glowed, even the clothes he was wearing seemed to dazzle. In that time and moment of prayer Jesus had a deepening awareness of himself and a deeper understanding of his role as God’s word of love for the world. In that time of prayer and reflection Jesus made a deeper commitment to the mission he had been sent to accomplish. This graced moment made Jesus transparent. He glowed with a passion and purpose that would enable him to continue his journey to Jerusalem where he would face his cross, death and resurrection.
In Luke’s telling of Jesus moment of insight and revelation he places Moses and Elijah with Jesus to symbolize that Jesus was the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.
Have you ever been blessed with such a moment of insight
and sensitivity when, in an instant, you feel in the very depth of your being your own worth, your own dignity, when you could say with deep conviction ‘I am somebody’ In a way you can’t even put such an experience into words, you just know. Or such a blessed moment might gift you with an overwhelming awareness that you are loved by God, that God embraces you just as you are, with all your gifts and faults. Or you may have had the liberating experience that you are reconciled with God, that all is forgiven, all is forgotten. Maybe you were blessed with an insight as to what God wants you to do with your life.
Maybe your moment of transfiguration, transformation came from realizing that someone important to you really loves you, wants to make a life with you. Was your life changed by the fact that someone willingly forgave you of a wrong, a hurt you did to them?
Maybe you are saying to yourself – what’s he talking about, nothing like this has ever happened to me, my life is pretty boring. But experiences such as these are life-changing, memorable moments. They lose their intensity with time but the memory stays. Such positive experiences help us get through the rough times that come into our lives.
Seeing Jesus as they did on this mountain Peter, James and John came to a deeper appreciation of Jesus, they sensed in a deeper way he was someone special. This is my son, my chosen, listen to him.
Caught up in the wonder of it all Peter couldn’t help but say “Lord it is good for us to be here” Let’s stay here forever. But that’s not the way life works. Eventually Jesus brought the three of them off the mountain and the first people they met were needy people, people looking for Jesus to cure a young man. No vision, no glory, they were right back to reality.
These were the same three Jesus took with him when he went to pray in Gethsemane. There they saw another Jesus, a distraught, struggling Jesus, a Jesus sweating blood as he begged ‘Father if it is possible let this chalice pass me by, yet not my will but your will be done.’ You’ll notice nobody in Gethsemane said, ‘Lord it is good for us to be here.’ Yet it was good for them to be there, to be offered the chance to watch and pray with him in his time of trial as they did in his time of glory.
Throughout our lives we will have, on occasion, moments on the mountain and moments in the garden. In all these occasions hopefully we will be able to say, “Lord it is good for us to be here’ it is good for us to know you are with us in all the circumstances of our lives, on every mountain of glory, in every garden of struggle.
As we continue to celebrate this Mass we can pray for ourselves and for each other that, whatever the circumstances of our lives, joy or sorrow, the ups and the downs of life, we trust the promise of Jesus,’ I will not leave you orphans, I am with you always, I have carved you on the palm of my hands