A Mountain Retreat

Mark 9: 2-10
Dn 7:9-10,13-14/ Psa 97/2 Pt 1:16-19

Rabbi, it is good for us to be here.
(Mark 9:5)

It may feel good to just remain
In the safety of God’s mountain,
But if His grace we seek to gain,
God’s fields are waiting in the plain.

Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him and led them up a high mountain, apart by themselves. There He was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three tents —one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus charged them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant. (Mark 9: 2-10)

Reflection

Jesus was nearing the culmination of His ministry, and by now His closest disciples were beginning to understand that His messianic mission was not the redemption of Israel from the Romans, but the salvation of the whole mankind from the slavery of sin. Our Lord had given them signs of His divinity, walking on water, feeding thousands, healing the sick and the demoniacs, and teaching with a new kind of authority in their synagogues. It was time to make a total revelation of Himself to His most trustworthy lieutenants. He took Peter, and the brothers James and John to a high mountain to reveal His true nature. But it was not only for the benefit of His apostles that our Lord was transfigured. It was also to prepare Himself for the trials ahead. The Divine Plan of the Father was finally going to unravel, and in His humanity, Jesus needed the assurance and fortification that He received from God and His foremost prophets during His transfiguration. It was enough that our Lord heard the voice of His Father saying, “This is My Beloved Son, listen to Him.”

“It is good that we are here!” That was how we felt in our week-end retreat and Mission Heads’ workshop at Angels Hills in Tagaytay, Cavite this past week-end. 115 Mission Heads, Outreach Heads, and Regional Mission Directors from all the urban centers of the country converged in that mountain “hideaway” to worship together, listen to our national leaders, and plan the work of evangelization and mission in our different regions. But we could not stay here long in the loving fellowship of brothers and of our God. After being recharged by the Holy Spirit, we needed to go down from the mountain and proceed with the work that has been mandated for us to win the marketplace for Christ.

Gratefully, we are regularly fed and reinforced with the Word of God in our Brotherhood. We need to listen to God’s Word to be guided in the formidable task of evangelization for which we have been commissioned. Our Lord Jesus Himself showed us in His regular communion with the Father how important retreats and prayers are in our constant battle with the evil forces in this world. And like Him, we need the company of our brothers whenever we go through such spiritual encounters. As mission leaders of the BCBP, we feel so fortunate that we have received the training and preparation that we need in our “climb to Mt. Hebron”.

Lord Jesus, in today’s Gospel reading, You revealed to Your closest apostles Your Divine nature, and to us the message that the flesh has become one with the Divine through Your Transfiguration. You have given us everything, Lord, including Your divinity, if only to save us from depravity and corruption, and transform us into a new creation. We ask for the grace to be constantly aware of Your great love for us, that we may never again fall into sin, but instead will always be in your service for spreading your Word and Your love to others. AMEN.

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