This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling while…From the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
While He was praying his face changed. A long time ago, I was on a bus traveling somewhere in Italy. I can’t remember where I was going or what I was doing, but I do remember an elderly gentleman sitting next to me itching to talk to me. I needed to pray. I needed to rest. I wasn’t interested. But eventually I succumbed to his awkward invitations and struck up a conversation with him. He seemed like a decent man. He was well dressed, wearing a sports jacket. I was wearing my collar. He wanted to talk about God and how he had received a special charism from the Lord. I asked him what exactly this “special charism” was. He told me it was his ability to transfigure his face into the face of Jesus Christ. I asked him to do it for me. He did, and after a few seconds of muscle movements around his lips and forehead that concluded with the widening of his eyes and a smile on his face, he looked at me and I looked back.
I wasn’t impressed.
Of course, I didn’t tell him that while we were sitting next to each other on the bus. I figured it would be better to do so afterwards.
Master, it is good that we are here. Now Peter was impressed with the Lord’s transfiguration. He, along with John and James were awestruck at how beautiful the Lord appeared to them. After all, the Lord was in his true state of being, in his full glory, and of course Peter and the rest of them wanted to remain there with Him. They even offered to build a tent for everyone! But by saying this, they were basically saying: Let’s forget about everyone. Let’s stay here and let the world crumble below us!
I think the Apostles came down from the mountain only because the Lord came down first. They knew their work was not yet finished. But most importantly, He knew that his Apostles were not yet fully trained.
They all came down the mountain. What was missing from their training? What was it? And why did the Lord, along with his Apostles, have to come down from the mountain?
Only by coming down from the mountain, could the Lord reach out and touch his people. Only by coming down, could He teach His men the meaning of love. In essence, what was missing from their training was the ultimate meaning of their presence: to love; to lay down your life. And this very important lesson could only be taught and learned by personal example and on a different mountain.
The Lord showed us who He was when his appearance changed and his clothing became dazzling white. But I think you will agree with me that the Lord showed his greatest glory when his appearance changed and his clothes became drenched in sweat and blood on the wood of the Cross. That’s when we learned that God is Love. That’s the moment when the Lord conquered us! And it didn’t happen on any mountain top except Mount Calvary.
Resolution: Today, I will accept the remarkable fact that it is when I carry my Cross out of love for the Lord (and for others) that I transform myself into true love and beauty.
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- luke 9:28
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