Homily. A peek at the peak. The Transfiguration Miracle. 18th Sun. A

Three friends of Jesus went up a mountain to pray with Him in the Feast time of Tabernacles, also called the Jewish holy day of Booths.  More than some holy day praying, these men got a miraculous glimpse at the true divinity of Jesus.  He unveiled Himself in a transfiguration miracle.   They got a peek at the peak.

Where it happened, on Mount Tabor, is a place pilgrims can visit today.  Yet in this homily and in your life, God is inviting you to deeper revelation, too.   But pilgrims go up the steep mount to see a pretty Franciscan Church of the Transfiguration with a prize view of Israel, a vista that apostles Peter, James and John saw, but then upon realizing the God Creator of it all was with them in their Rabbi-Prophet friend called Jesus.  He shone out His divinity, well, at least given them a peek at it, and the brilliance and power coming from within Jesus was dazzling and dizzying. They fell down in great awe.

Jesus was much more than they had realized.  This miracle showed divinity within Him. Even the appearance came of prophets Elijah and Moses was manifested, but to show how they bowed to Jesus as Lord and God.

At the finishing part of the miracle on the heights, Peter remembers it’s the feast of booths, and fumbling for something to say, offers that he with James and John could set up holiday booths now, in remembrance of the Jews’ exodus journey way back when.   What Peter will be asked to do, later, after Jesus’ rising and ascending, will be to build a church. It will be for a new exodus pilgrim people following Jesus into new life, revelation, and Glory.  That’s us with Pope Francis and the apostles’ lead today.

We are meant for a pilgrim’s purpose- filled life, with new intimacy into Jesus, more revelation, more community with one another, and awe and wonder for a life in The Spirit in this Catholic Christian faith.

We get our own peeks into Jesus and to who we are with Him.  Some have conversions , too, as in iike a mountain top experience, discovering salvation in Jesus. Those would be peak experiences (p-e-a-k) with the Lord.  The miracle is then how we recognize Him, the Lord Jesus, and that by his grace he allows us to see him that way as our great Savior and friend and deliver and Hope.

I have had moments in my own life of peeks at Jesus’ reality.   I have asked that the Lord help me to see Him really as near and friend and Head of the Church.  He has shown Himself, even if in ways not so obvious or big.

I know of people who have had major peek experiences, or peak (p-e-a-k) mountaintop experiences with God and in Jesus and Mary or the saints.   I am happy for them, but I have been more of a slow conversion, a work of faith in the crock pot mode.

In my last parish, some one in the church began to see Mary, and sometimes it was on our property.  Now he receives those visionary experiences in private.  But I believe he has had them, for it changed him towards much more holiness of life.   I just have to joke with him:  “I am on the church property every day, but it’s you who sees Mary.  Ok!”

Yet he may need revelation in a dramatic way like that.  The Lord knows the revelation that will work in us.   I have different kinds of revelation, like in having fruitful Bible study.  I just get blessed with some occasion in just meditating on Bible reading.  Yet I have a priest friend who went to public college and Catholic seminary with me that has quite extraordinary experiences.   Good for him.

I find that people can be blessed with a revelation, and one not as dramatic as a Transfiguration Mount experience, but it still affords them the “peek” at the Lord’s Presence that they need.   Some experience the Lord in prayer, but others through loving relationships, and others in doing works of mercy or charity.   Others in writing in journals, and others in art, and others in just quieting themselves to a sweet bliss.

The thing is, in all of this, we need to be longing for more with Jesus.   I think it was true in the three who went up Mount Tabor with Jesus.   Peter and James and John sought an intimacy of faith and an understanding of Jesus that was a true seeking after righteousness.   We need to note that, because, if we want revelations and blessings of the Lord, it might readily come when and after we ask to be intimate of heart with our Lord.   Then one might have the peek on the Lord’s reality, or even the mountain peak experience of a lifetime.    From the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus offers the simplicity of the approach, saying:  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all things shall be added unto you.

I wish and pray and hope on you all the Light of God to shine in your heart, mind, soul and spirit.   Alleluia.

Oh, I have a funny story on the kid’s level.   Can I add it on?    I was during the feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles as what marked the time when Jesus had this Transfiguration Moment.    We know that Peter, in an awe filled moment, and fumbling for words, suggests that they get on with the Feast of Booths celebrations and build three booths or houses or tents for Jesus, Moses and Elijah– who they saw all floating in the sky.

So, it reminds me when I built a house for a little girl in our Catholic school down in my Leonardtown days.   It was coming on the occasion of her birthday, and she and her family invited me to the birthday party.    At that time, our parish had a large double refrigerator delivered in a box to us, and I took the big box and made a playhouse for the girl of it.   Then, with much difficulty, I brought it to her house for the party, by carrying it atop my car, going 5 mph all the way there.  She was excited to get her unique present– her very own small house from me!   So, it was like I was Peter asking if a booth would be nice to build for Jesus, but it was instead for this young student in my class, whose parents I often visited, who were generous in their faith, and quite likable.  So I just did this house building thing on a spontaneous inspiration.

Later, she recounted that it was a sweet memory for her.   I was glad I made her new year of life and that birthday a blessed one.   Maybe that was one of my better Transfiguration moments, where I got to peek at how the Lord wants to build a mansion for me in Heaven, as I do little acts for Him down here on the earth like that one for the girl.

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