The WORD in Other Words by Fr Simon Boiser SVD (Germany)
Saturday Week 6 Ordinary Time
After a pilgrimage to a foreign land, many co-pilgrims say that the travel was like a spiritual journey of self-discovery. Despite the foreign language, strange food and unfamiliar surroundings, they felt connected with the religiosity of the local people. They discovered something new and refreshing about themselves and their own faith thru the peculiar traditions and customs of Catholics from another country.
A pilgrimage teaches a traveler to focus on matters of the soul. The traveler feels he is a nobody in the midst of hills, mountains and forest around him. A mere tourist, he does not have a role or status in a foreign city. When he forgets about his usual roles and routines, he can find a glimpse of his true self without the cosmetics of material possessions and honorific titles and be open to new perspectives of life.
In today’s Gospel, the climb of the disciples on the mountain top was a pilgrimage of their souls. It allowed them to see Jesus with different eyes: not just a great teacher and healer, but also a divine being. Jesus singles out Peter, James and John, perhaps because they were the most ready to understand and accept Jesus. They were receptive to the divine revelation of the transfiguration on the mountain. Mount Tabor is associated with closeness and readiness to accept God’s Words.
Jesus on the mountaintop unveiled a foretaste of heaven and glory. It was a not a sci-fi transportation to another dimension; its was a mystical experience which broke the barrier between heaven and earth. It was a transfiguration from the familiar and mundane into the divine and powerful.
May your spiritual pilgrimage transfigure your faith and purpose in life.