Climbing mountains

Moments in Philippine Daily Inquirer by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

In the account of transfiguration (Mark 9, 2-10), Jesus took Peter, James and John and led them up a high mountain. He had to set them apart; otherwise, their vision and orientation would remain myopic and blurred.

When the Lord sets us apart, it is to help us grow up and level up. Tears make us see more clearly. Pain makes us suffer, but it sets us free. Our fears shatter and rattle us, but they also lead us to trust more in God.

Loneliness can so hurt us, but makes us cling more to God. Deprivations humble us, but make us more dependent on God. Sickness, separation and even death scare us, but these will not separate us from the love of God.

God speaks more clearly and more loudly when we go through trials and problems. But the problem is that the evil one also speaks loudly during the difficult moments of our lives, tempting us to give up, or take the easy way out, or seek consolation and relief from what this world readily offers.

When God leads us to climb a mountain, let us be obedient, hold on to His hand, and just listen to Him—not to our own voice, to the people around us, or to the world that taunts us.

Some people can be so prayerful but do not change for the better. Why? Transformation does not happen because often, instead of transforming ourselves, we try to transform God and other people according to our desires and expectations. Real prayer is simply listening, letting go, and letting God.

Someone once said that communication often fails because we do not really listen. To borrow a line from a song: “Hey/Have you ever tried/Really reaching out/To the other side?”

Real transfiguration and transformation happen not when we are at the center stage or on the fast lane. As seeds sprout and grow in the darkness and in hidden places, real growth happens in the silence, in the candle glow, in our aloneness, on our bended knees.

There is a vast world of information readily accessible and available in our modern world, but it is all data and news about this and that, about who and what, and it could end up just that. If we really pray, information can lead us to our formation and transformation.

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