Today’s gospel reading is about the Transfiguration:
Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then 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.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
This event occurred after Jesus revealed to the disciples that he would have to suffer, die, and be raised. It seems that Jesus was preparing the men before those things took place so that they would be strong when the hard times came and be able to encourage and lead the others. Seeing Jesus shimmering in his divine glory surely strengthened the faith of those men who would later be sent out to share this Good News and suffer like their Messiah did.
Jesus said that those who would follow him must deny themselves and take up their cross daily (Luke 9:23). The Christian life is not without suffering and hardship. But when we walk with Jesus, he gives us what we need to keep going. Just like he prepared these men for the challenges ahead by strengthening their faith in him, he does the same for us.
There are mountaintop moments like this when it is all clear and wonderful and God is obviously real and with us–let us treasure these times and store them up in our hearts for later like Mary did (Luke 2:19). Because life is mostly the other moments when we have to come back down from the mountain and endure the mundane and sometimes severe trials of life. During these trying times, let us remember the moments when God revealed his love to us in a special way and be strengthened and comforted so we will be able to carry out what he has called us to do. One way to help us remember is to write them down in a journal (or a blog!)–when God busts through the fog of life and you just know it is him, write it down to look back on later when you are feeling low and meditate upon it.
The Christian life is not all glory and mountain tops. But when we surrender our lives to him, he can be counted on to provide for us what we need to become what he made us to be and find true happiness, even in the difficulties of life.