Jesus takes Peter, James and John up on a high mountain to pray…and He was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light.
This marvelous event of the transfiguration falls about a week after Jesus told the disciples that he would have to suffer much for the sake of others. Were they thinking about Jesus’ words regarding the cost of discipleship? “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
These two extremes – the self denial on one side, and the revealed glory of God on the other – are the bookends of the Christian life. Going up the mountain, we carry the burdens of life with us, and are given the opportunity to lay them down as the truth of who Jesus is, is revealed to us. In these mountaintop moments, we are happy to linger, to stay and bask in the light of God’s glory. But eventually, we need to go back down the mountain, and be re-immersed in the burdens of life, just as Jesus and his disciples leave the mountain and ‘get back to it’, ministering to the sick and suffering.
Let us, then, stay close to the ‘source’, Jesus fully present to us in the Word of God and in his Sacraments. It is there we will find courage in our sufferings, to let our hearts be encouraged to live more fully our life for Christ.
May God bless you!