ENCOUNTERING GOD ON THE MOUNTAIN

Fr Jim Nolan



Most people love to climb mountains for the view and the feel-good factor, but the mountains in the bible are associated with divine encounters which inspired life.

Peter, James and John were invited by Jesus to the high mountain - and it was there that Jesus was transfigured. The transfiguration acts as a further revelation to his disciples of the identity of Jesus as the Son of God.

A long flowing white flag bearing a red cross is the Christ-symbol of victory over death, the banner of the resurrection. I guess this high mountain is also to proclaim nearness to God's presence as outlined in many other divine encounters.

If we remain faithful to him in this life God will incorporate and raise us up in the mystery of the resurrection.

Our senses are the vantage point where we can see, hear and touch the world, probing the eternal structures of his creation where we acknowledge and thank God at all times for the intellect to know and a heart to feel the anxieties and love of others, to care and share the journey to the high mountain and be transformed and transfigured into the glory that he shares with us, where the debris and destruction of our lives is scattered and where our spiritual adventure unfolds.

St Paul invites us to put on a new nature created after the likeness of God (Eph 4:24). Therefore the soul becomes a root metaphor that points to the authenticity of a life lived to the full, open to the transcendent, to the divine. St Paul says "My brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise, things that are true, noble, right , pure, lovely and honorable. Put into practice what you have learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God of peace be with you. (Phil 4:8-9).

This is where we meet the divine spirit of God's intervention among humanity. Jesus' transfiguration encourages us to trust that God is with us if we are faithful to him as it is from the Father he receives his mission.

"There at God's right hand he stands and pleads for us (Rom 8:31-34).

During Lent God comes looking for us and even in our darkest moments invites us to trust him. "Trust involves letting go and knowing that God will catch us" (James Dobson). Likewise our souls are thirsting for God, the God of our lives. Our prayer always is "Enlighten us with your word that we may find the way to your glory. Amen.

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