Sunday, March 12, 2017
Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Matthew 17:4
Peter was excited, perhaps beyond any excitement he had experienced before. In fact, to say he was excited is most certainly an understatement. It may be more appropriate to say that he was overwhelmed! Why was this the case? Because he had just been given a very small glimpse of the glory and splendor of God!
This is the Transfiguration. Jesus took Peter, James and John and they went up a high mountain together. These three Apostles had no idea what was coming. Most likely while on the way they were complaining interiorly, wondering why they had to go up the mountain. But the mountain is a symbol of our upward journey to Heaven. It takes focus and drive, commitment and resolve to go there, and it’s an elevated place, a place away from the ordinary occurrences of life.
So they were on this difficult climb up the mountain and suddenly they stopped in shock and awe. They saw before their eyes Jesus changed in a glorious way, His clothing being whiter than any white they had ever seen. And Moses and Elijah, the great Law-giver and the great Prophet, were there before them conversing with Jesus.
And what was going on in Peter’s head? What was he experiencing? He was experiencing a small glimpse of the glory and splendor of God. Jesus, who up until this moment had kept His divinity veiled, lifted the veil ever so slightly. And with the lifting of that veil, His divinity shone through brighter than anything this world could ever contain. And Peter, James and John did not know what to think. But Peter cried out that he wanted to build three tents, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah! For within that momentary experience, he experienced the desire to remain there forever.
So why did Jesus give these Apostles this very brief experience of His glory? Because they would need that taste of His goodness for the road ahead. They would need to forever remember what their final destiny was. They would need to hold this experience close as they endured the many crosses and sufferings ahead. And they would use this experience to remind themselves that whatever they had to endure on the journey up the mountain of life is worth it. Because on the summit is a glory so great that no hardship they would have to endure would ever prove to be too big.
God wants to give that message to us through them. He wants us to ponder this experience they had and He wants us to try to enter into it so that we too can willingly press on during the journey.
Reflect, today, at the beginning of Lent, on the glory of God that makes the crosses we endure all worth it. Take advantage of this experience of Peter, James and John and try to make their experience your own. Be consoled by God’s glory and never forget that this is the ultimate promise He gives to all who press on.
Lord, may I be consoled by Your glory and splendor. May I believe in this glory and keep it ever in my mind as I press on through the hardships and challenges I face. You travel the road ahead of me and You will lead me on my journey if I only trust in You. Jesus, I do trust in You!
The Path to Holiness:
Becoming a Living Sacrifice of Love