Do we know anyone who lived life and died without ever facing a personal crisis? Humankind is such that everyone will go through trials on this earthly journey. The truth is our choices and action have consequences that affect self and others. What we choose to do can consequently, often unknowingly, become a crisis for our self or the other person. But our choices include if we choose to travel this journey on our own, or to believe in the Divine to walk with us till our last day.
No one gets through life without ever facing a crisis. We will find ourselves in situations where we feel helpless, be it from a crisis in relationship, career or illness. Often we walk into the storms of our life unprepared and unsheltered.
Today’s gospel on the Transfiguration is about humanity meeting divinity. After a quite spectacular encounter, Jesus still had to come down the mountain and walk on to Jerusalem to face suffering and death. Like him, we too will walk towards our own ‘Jerusalem’ to pass through death. It is inevitable.
The offer of the Divine presence to accompany us is freely available. This too is a personal choice. God has made his choice: He wants to walk with us as we go through our storms. And He constantly call out to us in our everyday life in the situations we find ourselves in. He is here, always present. It is our choice to connect.
It often begins with a stirring in our hearts; a voice, or a force pulling us towards a certain direction. We do not really know where it will take us but somehow there is a conviction to follow it. This conviction is manifested when we find ourselves restlessly searching for the meaning of life. We find ourselves wondering about the Divine and wander into the faith question. We are drawn deeper into faith, and for some of us, we explore returning to an authentic faith life.
When we choose to let go and be led, we will come to a point when we will experience our personal transfiguration. It will be an experience that speaks personally to us. This experience is difficult to describe but that moment brings a sureness in us. It is a spiritual encounter where the Divine enters our humanness in a most personal way and the experience leave us totally convinced. It is the moment when we hear the inner voice say, “This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him”.
This spiritual-high encounter will not happen if we do not choose to respond and ‘be led up a high mountain where we can be alone’. Yet the paths leading up this ‘mountain’ are sign-posted on our journey. It can be participation in a programme or being present at a retreat. We need to choose to place ourselves amongst people and in environments where we make ourselves available to encounter the Divine.
When we embrace the Divine we may sometimes experience that life get even tougher. This is not a penance for our waywardness but rather that God know the storms ahead of us and his relentless pursuit of a personal, spiritual encounter with him is to draw us close to Him. In his unconditional love he provides a shelter to protect and help us weather the incoming storms.
We can walk under this Shelter towards our own Jerusalem. This choice is ours alone.
Second Sunday in Lent