Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
From the Desert to the Mountain
In the Gospel of today’s mass, Mk. 9:2-10, Jesus leads Peter, James and John to the high mountains where he is transfigured in their presence. This high mountain traditionally identified as Mount Tabor calls to mind Mount Sinai on which Moses experienced God’s presence in the form of clouds through which God spoke to him and established the Old Covenant (Ex. 24:16-17). On Mount Tabor, Jesus is revealed in his glory just after announcing his forthcoming passion to his disciples. In the revelation of the glory of God, in the Shekina that wrapped up Jesus’ humanity, the disciples are being strengthened ahead for the suffering that will follow shortly. In the revelation of his glory on the mountain, God spoke, he says to the followers of Jesus to listen to him.
God had told Moses that someday in the future he would send a prophet to his people to whom they must listen (Deut. 18:15). That prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus; that is why God commands us to listen to Jesus on the holy mountain of Tabor. Last week, we were in the desert with Jesus to begin a journey of self-discovery, this process is complemented this week by climbing up the high mountain of prayer and silence to listen to Jesus’ personal call to us. We are to go to the spiritual mountain to listen to God’s voice speak to us in the silence of our hearts and in the cloud of his presence. The mountain is the place where earth and heaven connect, it is the place of connection with God’s presence. Jesus will speak to us when we ascend this mountain by finding times to discipline ourselves through Lenten pious devotions, by them, we climb the mountain, and mysteries of God are revealed to us, we hear clearly in the quiet and still voice of the Spirit.
We just need to practice quiet presence in the presence of God on his high mountain. We are bound to hear more from God about our mission and purpose in life if we learn to be quiet in God’s presence. We will draw strength to see us through sufferings, and we shall find meaning for our sufferings. God wants to speak to our hearts in the holy silence on his high mountain.
Find time to be with Jesus on his holy mountain during this lent. Move frequently from the desert to the mountain and back and forth, different geographical spaces, similar goals and effects. Find the space and time for silent reflection and in the art of listening, God will speak to us of Jesus and his Will for us. We as a people and as individuals have the opportunity of listening to Jesus at our 1st Monday of the month Eucharistic Adoration this Monday. Come to the high mountain at Adoration and practice listening to Jesus.
Fr. Bernard, OP