Thursday, August 3, 2017
by Sister Elise Cholewinski
“Lord, it is good to be here.” Peter uttered these words when he, James and John witnessed Jesus being transfigured before them on top of a mountain. Jesus’ shining appearance gave them a glimpse of the Resurrection. Our Church celebrates this feast, the Transfiguration, in its liturgy this Sunday.
Jesus was transfigured on Mount Tabor, an oval-shaped mountain in northern Galilee, a few miles from Nazareth. Several years ago I had the awesome opportunity to be on Mount Tabor. We ascended the mountain from the very hot Jezreel Valley, and as we stood 2400 feet above the plain, a cool, refreshing breeze flowed over us. Looking at the luxuriant landscape below, I understood exactly why Peter would have said those words. I told myself that I could stay there forever.
At the bottom of one of the slopes of Mount Tabor is the village of Nain. It is a small, quiet town. We were told that it is one of the poorest places in all of Israel. I remember the precious children begging American money from us as we entered the tiny church.
These two places symbolize the pattern of our lives. We have those special times of prayer, when we experience the splendor of Jesus, like when we are on a retreat, and we want to stay in the aura of His Presence. Then we hear the cry of the poor, and our commitment to Christ calls us to come down from our mountaintop experience and get involved doing the works of charity and justice. It’s because we’ve been to the top of the mountain that we have the motivation and the energy to descend to the base of it, bringing within us the Presence that we have beheld.
Rooted in the Cross, Word, and Eucharist ... compassionately responding through prayer, presence, and hospitality.
3110 Nicolet Drive
Green Bay, Wisconsin 54311-7212