Transfiguration, peak and valley

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Word Alive — Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD / August 6, 2023

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – A

Did you know that Jesus mentioned “television” in the gospel? After the Transfiguration at Mt. Tabor, he said: “Tel-e-vision to no one.” (Mark 9,9).

The gospel in this 18th Sunday does not relate about television but the vision of Jesus’ transfiguration (cf. (Mk 9,2-10) with faith as the theme.

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The Lord’s glorious transfiguration (Mt 17,1-9) served as a spiritual booster to strengthen the faith of his disciples in the days to come when he would suffer terribly, nailed to the cross, and died horrendously.

Faith is such that no matter how staunchly we live Christ’s teachings, there are times when we get discouraged or even lose faith in God.

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Faith has a mountain peak as well as low or valley moments in life. Peak experiences are moments of joy and fulfilment, like passing the bar or board exam, a long-awaited marriage, a visa to work abroad, a priest’s ordination.

The low points may be misfortunes like the sudden death of a loved one, a financial crisis, a serious sickness, a failed marriage.

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Peter, James and John didn’t want to leave the mountain anymore, preferring the joy and comfort of the glorious transfiguration. That is why Peter said, “Lord, let us build three booths (tents) here and reside where it’s secure and blissful.”

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In today’s situation, Peter would have said, “Let’s not go down anymore, Lord, where we encounter so many problems like the disappearance of 34 “sabongeros” un-yet solved, endless peddling of illegal drugs, hating and blaspheming the Lord, to mention some.

But Jesus’ mission was not cut out that way. They went down into the valley where they would undertake the ministry of loving service to all kinds of people and face their own sufferings which ended in martyrdom just like Jesus did.

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ASK YOURSELF: When low points of faith come, do I worry myself to death or be overwhelmed by them? Human as we are, we feel discouraged but, with faith in God, let’s rise up and remedy our problems. As somebody puts it: “Do your best and God will do the rest.”

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