Climbing with Christ
Saturday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Author: Catholic.net | Source: Catholic.net
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 9:2-13.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." Suddenly, looking around, the disciples no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant. Then they asked him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" He told them, "Elijah will indeed come first and restore all things, yet how is it written regarding the Son of Man that he must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him."
Lord Jesus, I climb the mountain (meaning I am going to the place of encounter) to learn what real prayer is. Like the disciples who are humbled by how you pray, but are desirous to learn, I turn to you with trust. I want to set all things aside and seek only to please you during this time of prayer.
Lord, teach me to pray. Grant me the gift of prayer, and to receive it as gift the Holy Spirit sends to those who truly fight for it.
1. Learning How to Be with Christ:
Imagine the time the three were to have alone with Christ, a time of sweeping consolation and light. First, it was a time to climb, to ascend with prayer, to make the arduous trip. Being changed by Christ does not come by just “hanging around” him, passively watching him work in the lives of others. We must fight to open doors for him to enter. Is our prayer a climb to reach God, or does it forever circle the base of the mountain, fearful of the effort and stuck in mediocre thoughts? Are we making deep acts of faith, hope and love to reach for the heights of union with him? Are we moving away from self-centeredness and earthly attachments towards a pure heart ready to receive the glory of God?
2. Getting That “Vision Thing.”:
What does a heart given to God receive from God? It receives a mysterious revelation of God’s glory, of the temporal caught up in the eternal, of God’s awesome way lo look at things. At the Transfiguration, Peter, James and John are given the complete picture. Christ reveals for a moment the glory of the things to come in the key of the things that have gone before. The three disciples, too, are given the vision also of their mission as it is taken up into his. What a consolation this is: to see so clearly what God sees, to take away all doubt before so much human weakness!. If we could experience what God holds in his heart, we would know the glory and honor for which we struggle and fight. We would read the next chapter of salvation history that we, in our faithful service, are writing together with Christ. Without prayer, without the effort to delve into, pierce through to the God’s thoughts of God, we will never see this.
3. Christian Prayer Is about Fulfillment:
Tabor teaches the disciple how to cultivate a living experience of Christ in prayer and to know what the fruits of proper prayer are. The first effect of fruitful prayer is the revelation of God’s glory, his true beauty. This speaks of the power from above that acts as a grace within. “Let us build three booths….” Those booths speak of the true longing for God which must be protected by habits of virtue and reflective prayer. The second effect is a revelation of God’s plan for us. God’s plan for humanity is so beautiful: Our own vocation in life is also eminently beautiful. God’s plan may have its unexpected twists as we live it, but in as much as it is his plan and not our own, it is always beautiful. Third, fruitful prayer delivers a revelation of our destiny. Christ’s mission is only completely fulfilled in heaven. Our true home is in heaven, and under heaven’s power our heart’s desire is changed. This change transforms the present into a different type of faith experience. To have the wherewithal to win in this life, our ultimate victory must be set for heaven alone.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, without your influence acting in the depths of my interior life, my life will be forever empty. I invoke in your name through the power of the Holy Spirit your entrance into my soul. I make these words of the Veni Sancte Spiritus my own:
Light most blessed, shine with grace in our heart’s most secret place, fill your faithful through and through! Left without your presence here, life itself would disappear, nothing thrives apart from you!
Cleanse our soiled hearts of sin, arid souls refresh within, wounded lives to health restore!
Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen, warm the chill, guide the wayward home once more!
I will fight in a special way any resistance to prayer, and I will strive to put into practice to living the resolutions that come from prayer.