Thursday, August 06, 2020

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

Keeping the goal front and center creates a foundation for a life of purpose and energy.” What is the goal of my life, why am I here?”, become the most important questions we need to keep asking ourselves. Goals are meant to be reached, with much hard work, and even grit, necessary to reach the goal. Too often, we give up when we lose sight of the goal or when the price of attaining the goal becomes too costly.

Jesus leads his three friends, Peter, James and John, up the mountain for a purpose, a goal, if you will, to give them an experience of a lifetime: Jesus shows them His ultimate goal: to be glorified, and THEIR ultimate goal: to share in this glory for all eternity. Jesus gives them a glimpse of His destiny, as the Two most significant individuals of their heritage appear with Jesus: Moses and Elijah, fulfilling the Law and the Prophetic message.

The three within this “transfiguration” of glory: Jesus, Moses, Elijah, mirror the three gazing within this cloud of illumination: Peter, James and John. Their destiny is OUR destiny... our goal!!!! Even though they are filled with slumber, the experience reaches into the depths of their being, the “place” of transformation: the heart. When this heart terrain is allowed access to God, we are flooded with the light necessary to keep the goal of total transformation of the heart possible. Impossibility becomes possibility... we share in the glory of Christ’s goal: Resurrection, when death’s voice is silenced forever.

After this moment of transfigured glory ends, the journey back down the mountain and into life continues, with this memory giving fuel for the journey. The three must keep their sights on the goal as they are led by Christ himself to Calvary, the mountain of suffering and pain. But the Cross isn’t the final goal, it is the way, the only WAY, that leads to the ultimate goal of life: Resurrection.

What is the goal of your life but to reach beyond death’s “grasp” and into the divine embrace of God. God grasps at nothing, for grasping suffocates; “don’t “cling” to me,” Jesus says to a stunned Mary at the empty tomb. God envelopes us, our lives, with this beautiful cloud of light, the paradox that speaks the goal. We are embraced, NOT grasped. The grasp of death is vanquished forever and we are embraced forever by life... by love.

Our work, relationships, family, accomplishments, failures... our letting go of certain ways of life that no longer are life giving, our attainment of new dreams, our very slow acceptance of growing old and letting go... all the suffering endured and disillusionments face.... ALL leads to a goal, THE goal, of the journey: to live forever on the mountain of life, wide awake, feasting with no weight issues, never saying goodbye. The goal: a perpetual lived reality. We are slowly climbing up the mountain, a difficult journey with many “crosses” leading to the one CROSS, which leads us to a threshold. Christ will lift us up and over this threshold, like a groom with his bride.

Fr. Frank