Mountaintop Encounters

>> Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Today's Readings:
First Reading: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Psalm 97
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters?one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don't be afraid." When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

"And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light." Matthew 17:2

Cloud Nine. Emotional high. Heaven!

Have you ever gone mountain climbing? What was the best part of the climb? It is when you reach the summit, right? Nothing compares to the experience of beholding God's majestic creation at a mountain's peak. Indeed being close to nature gives us a sense of closeness to Him who created us and everything that our eyes can see.

It is at the summit where we can get a 360-degree view of the beauty and majesty of God's creation. It is at the summit and at the mountain trail where we get to better appreciate His creation - the magnificence of a rushing waterfall, the earth glistening from the morning mist, the splendor of a soaring eagle, the diverse and unusual colors of huge dragonflies, the dark evenings broken by the light of thousands of fireflies and billions of stars, the clear blue skies disrupted by intermittent rains, and the pure, fresh mountain breeze that we take in.

In several of my prayer times, I have come to experience these mountaintop encounters wherein I felt God's presence so strongly that I just want to remain in the moment. There are times when I feel God embracing me that I can't help myself but cry because unworthy as I am, He deemed me worthy to feel His presence. It is moments such as these that urge me to continue to take up my own cross and face the many challenges and trials of life. It is these encounters that allowed me to persevere until the moment comes when I rejoin my God in His kingdom.

I would like to offer this song, My Heart's Thanksgiving, as a prayer to Him who has always been faithful to me.

As i sing my heart's thanksgiving, and my eyes look heavenward,
How the stars You flung like jewels, bid Your welcome, shine Your light.
As I marvel at Your moonrise, I'm in awe, yet i ask,
"What am I that you should love me, and hold me as Your dearest love of all?"

You crown me with honor and glory, and You set all things under my feet.
You have made me a little less than angels, even if I fly often away. (ref)

In my anxious and brow-beaten moments, You comfort me, fill me with peace.
When my foe threaten, dare and surround me,
You're my strength, You're my light and my shield. (ref.)

How exalted Your name is, O Yahweh, and how lofty the work of Your hands!
Yet how closely, how dearly You draw me, to Your love, Your divine majesty. (ref.)

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