Reflection for the 2nd Sunday of Lent, March 8th, 2020
Leaving the Mountain but Remembering the Moment By Matthew Nelson
March 8, 2020
Most times when I’ve heard reflections and homilies on the Transfiguration on the Mountain, I hear the same message: we can’t always stay on the mountain. There are times where we are happiest and feel closest to God, but those times don’t last forever and we have to be ready to leave the mountain when it is time. While that in itself is a great message for this Gospel passage, it is not the only one.
Growing up, I would say I grew up in a Christian household. We had strong family morals and my parents taught us kids how to love others unconditionally, but God was never really a part of any of it. We never went to church, never prayed, and never spoke about Jesus outside of Easter and Christmas. To make a long story short, my family started going to church when I was in high school in a family wide conversion. While I hated it at first, I eventually warmed up to the idea of church and God, and started to pray on a more regular basis.
It wasn’t until my junior year of high school when I had that moment. I was on retreat preparing for Confirmation and while in prayer suddenly felt filled with love; so much love that I was bursting from the seams with joy and happiness. I honestly couldn’t stop smiling. I had this deep experience of God that I didn’t want to end. But, as the reading says, I eventually had to come off that mountain. The important part is, though, that when I left the experience behind, I didn’t forget about it. It is something I hold close to my heart to this very day. That experience of the love of God became foundational to my faith and is something I constantly look to when I am struggling.
I think that is an important message of this Gospel that people often miss. When we say goodbye to our mountain, it doesn’t mean we forget it. I can promise you Peter, James, and John didn’t forget about the Transfiguration and if they did, it wasn’t for very long. It probably became something, along with the other miracles they witnessed, that kept pushing them through the tough times they faced.
Do we have a moment we can look back on? And when we experience that moment, what can we do to not forget it?
Have you ever had that moment?
If you have, how to you remember it?
If you have another moment in the future, what can you do to help yourself remember it without clinging to it?
MTS – Systematics
Graduating Year 2020
Plan: After graduating, I plan on to teaching theology in some degree, either at a high school or collegiate level.