Our Lord had Another Mountain to Climb

03-13-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

In today’s Gospel, Jesus takes his inner circle up a mountain to pray. Jesus and I have that in common—we LOVE heading up into mountains for prayer. In fact, I regularly remind God that if He sees fit to make it possible for me to have a small cabin one day, I’d be a VERY happy camper. Thus far, He sees fit to make me wait. Fair enough. Back to the mountain.

Jesus leads them in a prayer marathon of sorts. Everyone but Jesus gets pretty sleepy until the transfiguration occurs, Moses and Elijah appear, and the whole scene becomes pretty amazing.

Peter says, “Master, it is good we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

Whether Peter was talking about camping out or something akin to the Jewish Feast of Booths (which is much more likely), doesn’t matter for the purposes of my point. What was certain? Peter was loving it and didn’t want it to end. And who could blame him? He was hidden from the cares of the world below. He was communing with God. His soul was being renewed. (This reminds me of youth group teens who didn’t want various retreats to end. A transformative experience of God can do that to a person!)

But Jesus knew they could not stay. Our Lord had another mountain to climb. A sacrifice was to be made out of love. He had to die for the sin of mankind.

In many small towns and big cities across the world, Catholic Churches have been built on the highest elevation in the area. This was not done for publicity or vanity. It was done to reflect the tradition throughout the Old Testament and the life of Christ of ascending a mountain to pray.

And like Peter, many of us find solace in our Church. We can “hide” from the cares of the world. We commune (partake in Communion) with God. Our souls are renewed.

Yet, very few of us are called to stay there 24 hours a day. Our Lord gives us other mountains to climb throughout the week. We must make sacrifices for God and our fellow man out of love. We must die to our pleasures, possessions, and pride. We do this joyfully, understanding we will (one day) ascend an eternal mountain where there are no more concerns, sacrifices, or death. It will be for us the Mass of peace and love that never ends.

Comments, concerns, questions? Email David at dlins@oloj.org