My Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

            As I reflect upon the gospel today, I am somewhat transported back to my thirty day retreat when I spent time in prayer imagining myself standing on Mt. Tabor with Peter, James and John to experience the transfiguration of the Lord with Moses and Elijah by his side and to hear the voice of God affirm that this Jesus is the Son of God.  In that moment of grace and prayer I can tell you it was nothing less than awesome. 

            I remember feeling like those three disciples, having that same fear as I encountered this precious, grace-filled moment and heard the voice of God.  Nothing less than falling to the ground and hiding my face could have been expected.  But I had the knowledge of what was about to happen.  I knew the story.  And as I placed myself there in that moment, I too was transformed because in this moment God opened Himself to me as He does to you today.

            This whole event is an intense teaching moment for Jesus’ disciples.  This is Jesus’ way of showing them what is in store for them (and us) in the resurrection on the last day.  And in the midst of this teaching we learn three very important realities of faith and life lessons for our day.

            The first lesson we understand is that we too are BELOVED of God.  As beloved sons and daughters of God, He loves us, desires the best for us and will reward His faithful ones with resurrection on the last day.

            The second lesson for our reflection is that God is ever present in our lives, in all times and all situations as a loving Father to His children.  He will protect us.  We have nothing to fear when we stand in relationship with God.

            Lastly we know and understand that to achieve the glory of heaven there will be times of hurt, sacrifice and suffering.  Yet, these are not negative things.  In fact, with the Lord by our side and with the knowledge of being His BELOVED, we actually turn from fear and brokenness to hope and freedom.  The Sacrifice of Christ on the cross brings this awareness.

            Take time to go to the mountain-top this week and experience and listen to the voice of God.  Allow hope and freedom to embrace you, His beloved.

God’s peace and my love and prayers,

Father Michael