Second Sunday of Lent
March 12, 2017 – Year A
Readings: Gn 12:1-4A / Ps 33 / 2 Tm 1:8B-10 / Mt 17:1-9
by Rev. Mr. Eddie Craig, Permanent Deacon
Last weekend my wife and I were in Munich, Germany. We went there because my wife was invited to give a recital at the Gasteig. It’s a big concert hall with multiple venues, similar to the Kennedy Center or Carnegie Hall. It’s very active: They do a thousand events there a year. In fact, while my wife was playing in the small hall, there were events going on in the other halls.
I was very impressed with Munich. It is a beautiful city: lots of old stuff, lots of new stuff that was made to look old. The people were very friendly. And I fell in love with weiβwurst and München dunkel. (We have not been successful in finding that since we’ve been back.)
On Monday morning at seven o’clock, when the alarm went off (which was one o’clock your time), I did not want to get out of bed, get on the train, go back to the airport, spend eight hours on an airplane, to come back here and go to work the next day. Boy, did I wish that we could stay there.
I’m sure that’s happened to you. How many times have you been on a wonderful vacation? Lots of times these come in the midst of busyness. You get to get away; you get to relax; you get to reconnect with your family. And at the end, we often wish that we could stay there.
You may have experienced the same type of thing in your spiritual life. Maybe you’ve attended a retreat, or maybe someone gave you a book, and you read the book, and it really touched you. Or maybe you attended a revival, and you had an incredible faith experience. And then things go back to normal. At the time, you felt closer to God than you ever have before. But then the next day, when you’ve got to go back to work, and you have to pay the bills, sometimes we don’t feel quite as connected any more.
We call one of these highs “a mountain top experience.” It takes its name from today’s gospel. Peter, James, and John were blessed to be able to see Jesus transformed on top of the mountain. They were able to hear the voice of God speaking. I can imagine what they were feeling. They were thinking, “Oh my gosh, this is true. This IS the Messiah. This IS the Son of God.” Is it any wonder that Peter didn’t want to leave? Is it any wonder that he wanted to build shelters and never come down?
But alas, he had to come down. God doesn’t lead us to the top of the mountain to stay there. He leads us to the top of the mountain to be lifted up, to be rejuvenated, to be renewed, to have our faith reinforced. But we’re not intended to stay there. We are intended to come back down.
We’re intended to go back out into the world, because, after all, the world is full of people who need us: friends, family, and strangers. They need us. They need the Gospel. They need us to share our experience with them.
Lent is a time of preparation. If we’re lucky, sometime during that forty-day period we get to experience what it’s like on top of the mountain. Then at Easter, we’re ready to celebrate the Resurrection, to celebrate Jesus, the Son of God: Jesus, true God and true man. Then, on Monday we go back to work, and we are called to share that experience with the people who are around us.
This Lent, I pray that we all will be rejuvenated, that we will experience a true mountain top, and that we won’t keep it to ourselves, that we will go out and share it with the people whom we meet every day.