The story (I believe) calls each one of us to examine what mountain we must climb to see God’s glory. I trust you have been using our assigned Lenten Lectio book. So you are hearing daily about protection with a blue ribbon as you climb your Lenten mountain. You can call the mountains whatever you will – it’s your personalize mount to climb: hurdles, challenges, enticing temptations, near occasions of sin, quirks of personality, Lenten resolutions, pet peeves…. Some days they are like just a little pebble on our path that we kick aside. Other days, they can be like a grain of sand inside your shoe – no bother when you are sitting still but the instant you start to move it quickly makes itself felt. Other days, they are like boulders we can’t move with a backhoe. Everyone’s mountain is different; but, to witness God’s glory, we must climb our “mountains.”
When we reach the mountaintop, we must stay alert, have the insight to know that we are at the top. The disciples could have missed Jesus’ transfiguration if they:
- had been too busy taking in the view
- gloating over their status or talking about those left behind
- wondering about what was on the agenda for tomorrow
- how long were they going to be up on this mountain anyway
- would there be time to finish what they had started when Jesus summoned them
- bickering over who was going to get to use the walking stick going down the mountain
- and, who’s going to provide the fish for tonight’s supper?
You fill in the blanks…you know what it is that keeps you from seeing God’s glory. What causes you to miss the “small miracles,” the “everyday transfigurations” in yourself, in each other, in nature. We need to thank God when we get to the top of the mountain; but we can hardly stay there. There are more mountains to climb. While you are at the top, if only for an instant, don’t miss the transfiguration.
Jesus did not become “more God” that day on the mountain. I don’t think the change was so much in Jesus, as it was in the disciples. They were ready. They had climbed the mountain. And their eyes were open to witness the miracle of the moment. Transfigurations we sometimes call “miracles” are all around us IF we but have the eyes to see.
- Miracle of God’s graciousness when a person holds a door open for another
- Miracle of God’s loving-care when a chair is vacated to give another a seat
- Miracle of God’s inclusion when we make space at table
- Miracle of God’s mercy when a mistake is not challenged in public
- Miracle of God’s hospitality when an open invitation is extended
- Miracle of God’s steadfastness when day after day we gather for communal exercises
- Miracle of God’s perseverance when we come through tough times – individually and as a community
- Miracle of God’s humility when reconciliation occurs
- Miracle of God’s generosity when we give from our need
- Miracle of God’s compassion when an offer is extended before the other has to ask
- Miracle of God’s humor when it rains on our picnics
- Miracle of God’s artistry in the beauty of nature that surrounds us
- And always, God, thank you for the miracle of tomorrow: the gift of a new sunrise, a new slate, a new beginning.
Make your own litany of miracles. God is already there, is here. Jesus invites us up the mountain and leads the way. We just need to open our eyes to witness the transfiguration.
Reflection By Sister Roberta Bailey, OSB, Prioress
Mark 9: 2-10 [Vigil of the Second Sunday in Lent 3.16.19]