Have you ever had a mountain top experience? Have you ever had a vision of God’s glorious presence on a mountain? I’m not sure that I could say that I have had the same experience as Peter, James and John where the disciples saw Jesus transfigured before their very eyes. I have hiked several high mountain passes near mountain peaks in the Sierra Nevada mountain range along the John Muir trail and it was a spectacular experience.
Though we did not go to the very tops of those mountains, we were very close, enjoying spectacular views and panoramas. Viewing those landscapes left me feeling small and insignificant in comparison to those majestic places, standing in awe before the wonder of God’s creation. I suppose those who climb to the tops of mountains like Mt. Everest have incredible experiences. The Apollo astronauts who first journeyed to the moon sent back the first pictures of our blue orb against the black background of the universe, and saw that we are really one people on a planet that sustains, supports and allows human life. We live on spaceship earth.
But, at the top of those mountain passes I had a sense of God’s presence, though I did not hear God’s voice, or hear Jesus specifically speak to me. But, I did come away with a sense that our earth, our planet, is part of something much larger, a solar system, within the Milky Way solar system that is part of millions and billions of galaxies in the ever expanding cosmos. And with all that do we recognize that God has chosen us, as Jesus chose Peter, James and John to have a specific experience of God’s glory; a glory that knows no bounds on a small mountain near the Galilee?
Following that theophany, that marvelous revelation experience the disciples will discover that Jesus was truly humble. At the same time they remembered that moment of inspiration that helped them begin their mission. He was a servant, a suffering servant who was going to suffer and die, in order that we might be saved. Similarly, he calls us to be servants who tell the Good News of God’s glory, mercy and love. We are invited to “listen” to him at home, at work, in church or even on the mountain top. May the Lord transform our lives and our hearts as we enter into the season of Lent and through our threefold practices: almsgiving, prayer and fasting we must might experience the living God. Lenten Blessings, Father Larry