On April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech in which he said, “I’ve been to the mountain top and seen the promised land.”
Jesus led Peter, James and John up a high mountain to see the promised land. There Jesus was transfigured; his face shone like the sun and his clothing became white. They saw Moses and Elijah; they heard a voice say, “This is my beloved Son in whom
I am well pleased.”
Have you been to a mountain top? A hill perhaps? Maybe a knoll? The significance of a mountain is universally known as a symbol of the nearness of God.
In the reading of the Transfiguration, we are given a glimpse of how to recognize those moments when God is near. Let yourself come apart from daily life for a while. Let Jesus invite you to experience God’s love and glory. Recall people and events in your life that have shown God’s presence and love. Open your senses to listen to words of love and encouragement; to hear the sounds of nature; to see God in your actions and those of others; to feel God’s hand in the touch of a friend. In each and every one of these encounters, God says to you, “You are my beloved in whom I am well pleased.” Believe God tells you this. You are God’s beloved, flaws and all.
Peter, James and John were flawed. And still, Jesus took them to Gethsemane with him. They fell asleep. Peter denied knowing Jesus. They were not at the foot of the cross. They were flawed, and Jesus loved them. They were afraid, and Jesus appeared to them. Jesus gave them the Holy Spirit to be with them.
Jesus continues to be with us through his Spirit in the sacraments, prayer, nature, and people. These are our mountain tops!
Come away for a while this Lent. Simply be with Jesus. Let him lead you so at Easter you can exclaim, “I’ve been to the mountain top!”