The Mountains We Climb

A few weeks ago some of my friends were in anticipation of one Korean telenovela’s last episode. They wanted to see how it ended, caught by the interesting storyline, beautiful actors, and awesome cinematography. Most of my lady friends were caught by this romantic story being shown on Internet livestream. Admittedly, they wanted the ideal ending to that love story. (I haven’t completed watching it so I don’t know how it ended.)     

For the faithful Christian, this is the same prayer that we want of having an ideal ending to our earthly pilgrimage. We want to be in Heaven someday!

In the Gospel (Mt. 17: 1-9), 

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother to a high mountain by themselves

and He was transfigured before themHis face shone like the sun and His clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with Him.”

At that time, the disciples were already experiencing a lot while with Jesus in the missionary journey. You could imagine the difficulties they were encountering: John had just been beheaded (Chap. 14), there was a lot of stress after being questioned by breaking the “tradition of the elders” (Chap. 15), and the first prediction of the Passion (in Chap. 16). God saw the need to re-assure the disciples of Jesus by showing them a peek of what Heaven is all about. The inner circle of Jesus was given a glimpse of Heaven while on earth. It was a rare privilege given for them to experience the beauty and glory of Eternity. So in awe was Peter that the only thing he could say was,

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.”

Just like the disciples, we also encounter several mountains in our journey. These difficulties come in the form of needs like health issues, debts that are due, relationship concerns, and work problems.Some may be sieged with problems so difficult that they even entertain the thought of giving up. Lately there has been a surge in mental health issues leading to anxieties and depression, especially among the youth. As Christ’s followers, we should be the first to say to our family, friends and those we come to meet “Don’t give up”. Giving up shouldn’t be an option, as the disciples are made to understand what Jesus is to them,

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 pleasedlisten to Him.”

It is an assurance for the faithful, you and me, to trust in Jesus Christ our Savior and King. We should listen when He said to His disciples, 

Rise, and do not be afraid.”

 The same message is conveyed to us now, and to the future generations of Christ’s followers. For each mountain we climb, it is but important that we pick up the lessons learned there.

As we begin this Second Week of Lent, may we be confident in the words of St. Paul in the Second Reading (2 Tim. 1: 8B-10),

Bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God. He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to His own design.”

In the Anticipated Mass we attended last night, the Lord tells us, “Face your fears.” The mountains we climb won’t be the last, the difficulty becomes heavier as we near the pinnacle, but if we hold on to Him, we won’t feel the pain as we will be experiencing more joy in the thought that He’ll be with us all the way. 

Let us pray that we become stronger in the faith, confident of the love that the Lord gives us through the journey. May we learn the useful lessons from each mountain we climb and conquer, assured of His abiding mercy and grace.

Lord, let Your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in You.” (Ps. 33: 22)

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