Mountain climbing is still a good way to spend a vacation—see the sights—experience the beauty of nature. Jesus took Peter James and John up on a high mountain to show them the beauty of His Divinity.
He could have taken all twelve, but the Lord chose three. Perhaps the others were not ready. Takes a mature personality to digest a miracle. We can get easily distracted with extra-ordinary manifestations. Cloud formations, face of Jesus in the sand, spectacular lights on photos. They get circulated all over the Internet. We get excited about the stuff we cannot explain. St. Peter got excited. He wanted to make three tents. Since cellphones had not been invented, there was no way to take a selfie—put it on snap chat or tweeter. Making three tents was the best he could do. In essence, St. Peter, James and John were not ready for the gift of total love without conditions. That’s one reason that Jesus showed them who He was—God made man—like opening up a gift and saying—“look inside.” To just appreciate beauty is difficult because our inadequacies come to haunt us—“Why can’t I do that? How can someone be so talented? I am not worthy to witness such beauty.” Perhaps a child, a very old person, or a mentally challenged individual are the ones who stand a better chance of appreciating total beauty—because they do not have to be in control. Took a voice from a cloud to shut up St. Peter. The cloud said, “Relax, be quiet, listen.” Getting more difficult all the time. Folks travel across the globe to relax and come back more tense then before they left. Miles and miles to find beauty that was in our own back yard. Where’s the voice from the cloud when we need it? Why doesn’t God try to get our attention? God always wants to get our attention.
We may never have the challenge of climbing up a high mountain, but we can experience the Divinity of Christ every day. Just relax, be quiet, listen. Consider that such disciplines cannot be achieved with a phone in our hands, our face stuck in a computer or while we shout at the news on T.V. The majority of us do not have the luxury of spending an hour in solitude. From the time we get out of bed until the moment our head gets back on the pillow—we are surrounded with noise—with activity. Our connection with God is not so much about quantity as about quality.
Takes just a little while to experience beauty—to behold a miracle. Means we have to surrender to the experience, without trying to manipulate—or saying “Lord give me, Lord I want, Lord listen to me.” A change of heart is what God seeks—“I love you Lord, do with me whatever you want—Your will be done.” When we are ready to surrender, then we are ready to relax, to be quiet, and to listen. We say in the Creed, “I believe in one God…” But we keep trying to be God. We think we know better. Surrendering is allowing God to be God without trying to control. Usually doesn’t happen over night—“old habits are difficult to break”. How we pray is one of the best ways to start. Prayers of praise, thanksgiving, worship are less frequent than prayers of petition. Jesus invites us up to the mountain just to enjoy Him. There are no strings attached, no conditions, no expectations. God does not say to us, “Only if you behave, if you stop sinning (which isn’t going to happen), if you get more involved in the Church” God says, This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him.” Holy Communion is our perfect communication with Jesus Christ—perfect way to listen to Him. He comes into our heart and reveals His Divinity.
Beauty is here. The Transfiguration happens at every Holy Mass. Our vocation is to give thanks—to listen.