Saints Peter & Paul Parish, Tucson, AZ
Jesus takes three of His disciples up a high mountain (Mark 9:2-10). When I was in the seminary our class went to the Holy Land. While we were there, one of the places we visited was the mountain of the Transfiguration.
My brothers and sisters, each one of us are on a journey. We each have a purpose in life. The Transfiguration of Our Lord shows who He is and reveals what we are to become. Our Lord Jesus is the Son of God. We are to become sons of God though Him. However, we are reminded that the Transfiguration does not come simply by climbing a mountain. It comes from accepting the Cross. Jesus and His apostles had already begun the final journey to Jerusalem.
No. They had to come down from the mountain so that Our Lord could share His glory with the rest of humanity. How did our Lord share His glory with us? By dying on the Cross. "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." (John 12:32)
If we want to share in the glory of Our Lord, we too must share in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
This means that we must die to the sinful nature of our humanity and live in the Spirit. We must strive to overcome our disordered desires and strive to live pure lives. It is then that the Light of the Lord lives inside us. As our Lord offered His Body as a living sacrifice, we too are to offer our bodies as a holy, living sacrifice acceptable to the Lord….
Through faith, the power of Christ is manifested in us because we rely not on ourselves but on God. It is through faith that we can allow our relationship with God to change our personal identity.
Sometimes God gives us special glimpses of His glory in order to strengthen us for our journey of faith. We see this in the lives of many saints who had special revelations of God in order to strengthen them in their trials.
Yet, God calls us to not rely on personal revelations. God wants to see what we are made of. He wants to see if we truly love Him. It is when we faithfully abandon ourselves to God that we discover He not only gives us what we need, but He gives us strength we never knew we had.
“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger.
“Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.” (Gen 22:12)
|Fr. John Paul Shea|