AUGUST 6, 2023
For the apostles the transfiguration was an awe-inspiring experience. They had never seen their master like this before.
Peter, filled with consolation says, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. Let us erect three booths here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But it is not to be. This is only a preparation for things to come. With Jesus they must descend the mountain to the valley below and on to the garden of Gethsemane and Calvary.
On Mount Tabor they didn’t want to leave.
In the Garden of Gethsemane they didn’t want to stay.
When Jesus was arrested they all fled.
We can all identify with the apostles because in our mountain-top experiences of joy and consolation we also want to stay. We want them to go on forever. And then in the moments of trial we want to flee. We forget that our Lord did not promise us a rose garden, but a garden of olives and a crown of thorns. “If anyone will come after me let him pick up his cross daily and follow me.”
The Transfiguration was the mountain-top experience of the apostles which prepared them for their future trials. The Mass is our mountain-top experience which prepares us for the trials of our day. The Mass is not a transfiguration but a transubstantiation, in which bread and wine are transformed into the glorious Risen Jesus. And in the joy and consolation of Communion we say with Peter, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” And we do not want to leave. But it is not to be. Soon we will hear the words, “The Mass is ended. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” So we pick up our cross and leave to face the trials of the day. But having been to the top of the mountain we know that
Nothing can separate us from the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.