The Here and Now on the Mountain

February 25,. 2018

This week we are invited to the mountain to experience the gift of revelation.  Peter, James and John are lifted up by the grace of Jesus as He is transfigured in their midst.  Moses and Elijah join Him to give even more credibility to who Jesus is. This revelation is to strengthen their faith as to the true identity of Jesus. It is Lent.  In the here and now, the here is the now.


As we begin the second week of Lent, we may be catching our stride and feeling more spiritual, doing better at prayer, finding joy in overcoming obstacles to our Lenten promises.  All of this leads us to spiritual accomplishments.  Ever since childhood, we have been told we are to earn our way.  Hard work pays off in Lent.  The more spiritual discipline we add, the more prayers we say, the more spiritual reading we do, we are going to earn our reward of greater spiritual awareness.  Peter, James and John physically climbed the mountain. We are programmed and geared for this.  We are taught if we want this…we have to do that.  The golden carrot becomes the reason for doing something good.  The reward becomes the motivation.


On this holy mountain everything changes.  The appearance of Jesus becomes so bright that the human eye can’t look.  The disciples fall to the ground because it is all overwhelming. What takes place is pure gift.  The voice of the heavenly Father announces to the world Jesus is the Son of God.  This is so far above us and so beyond us, we realize we have no control.  This revelation is pure gift, something we cannot earn.  When this happens, our reasons for being good, moral and faith-filled must change. The motivation cannot be about what we earn.  We can never earn heaven.  All revelation is out of our control and is a gift.


In the transparency of the now, we are challenged to become aware of God at a new depth.  To take away hell as a motivation, to take away punishment as a reason to do the right thing, we must forge ahead responding in love to the ultimate divine love.  It is easier to think we earn something when in fact we earn nothing.  To deepen our spirituality we must enter the revelations given to us, we must rejoice in the faith given to us, realizing it is gift, pure gift.  When we can recognize the value of this gift, we can receive the Giver of the gift in a new way.  We can embrace the mightiness of God.  We can experience the breath of His love as He offers it freely to us.  We are beloved through Baptism.  Our identity becomes a child of God at that time.  In the here is the now, we do good  things to glorify the giver of the gift out of love, a love that is a fraction of the love He has for us.

The here is the now and the mountain is the place,

Jesus is waiting.

Reverend John J. Ouper