Greetings to All! As I ate my lunch today I was reading the Mass readings for today and reflecting on the Gospel. Today’s Gospel is from Mt 17:1-9 in which Jesus goes up on the mountain with Peter, James, and John and before their very eyes he is transfigured into all of His Glory and Jesus is conversing with Moses and Elijah. What a sight this must have been for Peter, James and John? The joy they must have felt as right before their eyes they were seeing Jesus in His Glory, not to mention Moses and Elijah were there. It had to be a total confirmation of everything that Jesus had told them and of everything that they had truly placed their faith in. Peter was so excited he did not want to leave nor did he want anyone else to leave. He offered to build tents for all of them and they could stay on the mountain forever.
Isn’t that how we all feel so often? Having been involved with church ministry for a number of years now, I have often used this particular scripture passage while ministering to teenagers, especially after they come back from a retreat or conference. Explaining to them that whatever event they were on and however powerful it might have been, that we cannot stay on the mountain, that our life is not like that all the time. No matter how bad we want to stay on the mountain, although all of us would really like to, life just does not work like that for us either. I believe that God gives us all these mountain top experiences in order to show us His Glory and His Power, and Jesus is our perfect example, yet again and in the words of my wife, “That Jesus, He is so clever!” Jesus Himself shows us that we have the mountain top experiences and they are good and that it is necessary for us to hear from our Father in heaven that, We are His beloved Sons and Daughters, in whom He is well pleased. Isn’t awesome? That even Jesus needed to hear these words and have this experience in order that He might have the strength, courage, and perseverance to come down the mountain and to walk up the hill to Calvary.
For Ali and I our life together has been filled with many mountain top experiences, individually and together as a couple. God has done marvelous things in our lives to show us that we are His beloved Son and Daughter, in whom He is well pleased. There have been real moments where He has revealed Himself, His Power, His Beauty, and His Faithfulness to us and there is part of me that wonders if it is partly because He knew the mountain that we would have to climb with Cate and her death. I firmly believe that these experiences along with our faith are what continue to root us deeply into the heart of God right now. I would think that as Jesus walked the road to Calvary that those words, “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” were echoing deep in His Sacred Heart. It was these words that enable him to get up again and again after he fell. Similarly, but on a MUCH smaller scale, I know that this is what is carrying Ali and me right now. We are reminded of the mountain top experiences in our lives where we have truly witnessed for ourselves the power of God before our very own eyes. Since Cate’s death when it is has been difficult and we have had trouble hearing God or being reminded of His faithfulness, We have had our own Simon, who helped Jesus carry his Cross, come into our lives and speak those words of the Father into our hearts that we cannot hear at that moment because the shouts of hurt, angry, and sadness get so loud at times.
I thank you Jesus for not staying on the mountain that day. I thank you for coming down and accepting the will of the Father so that we all might receive Salvation. I pray Lord that you will continue to remind Ali and I of the mountain tops in our lives as we walk in this valley of the shadow of Death. But even more than that I pray that we might not only see You on the mountain but that we might see You even clearer and even nearer as we walk in this valley. May we all follow Christ up the mountain and then follow Him all the way to Calvary. I love you Lord, help me to love you more. Much Love, The Cantrells