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Transfiguration, life’s peaks & valleys

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By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

By Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD

 

A patient, who was being wheeled into the operating room, pleaded with the young doctor: “Doc, ple…please be gentle with me; this…this is my first time to be operated on!”

* * *

The surgeon, who also looked nervous, glanced at her and blurted out: “Do…don’t worry, madam, this…this is also my first time to do an operation!”

Entrusting ourselves in the hands of a surgeon is human faith. Spiritual faith is trusting in Jesus who said, “Don’t worry. Have faith in me; have faith in my Father.”

* * *

The theme of the 2nd Sunday of Lent is faith. The Lord’s glorious transfiguration in this Sunday’s gospel (Mk 9,2-10) served as a spiritual booster to strengthen the faith of his disciples in the days to come when he would suffer terribly, nailed to the cross and die in Jerusalem.

Faith is such that no matter how staunchly we live Christ’s teachings, there will be times when it flickers or even gets extinguished.

* * *

Faith has mountain peak as well as low or valley moments in life. Peak experiences are moments of joy and fulfillment, like passing a bar or board exam, a long-awaited marriage, a visa to work abroad, a priestly ordination or profession of religious vows.

The low points of life may be adversities like the sudden death of a loved one, a financial crisis, a serious sickness, a failed marriage.

* * *

Human as we are, when such misfortunes hit us, we can feel discouraged and even cop out. However, that should not be the attitude of a true follower of Christ. A good Christian should have the resilience to rise from trials and adversities, trusting in God’s help and providence.

* * *

Such was the faith of Abraham (in the first reading). Abraham’s faith faltered when God told him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. It wasn’t only a painful command but also “absurd” because Isaac was his only son and God promised Abraham that he would be the father of all nations.

* * *

But Abraham trusted God, and in the end, his son was spared. For his unswerving faith, God blessed him far beyond his wildest dreams.

* * *

ONE FINAL THOUGHT: Peter, James, and John didn’t want to leave the mountain anymore, preferring the joy and comfort of the glorious transfiguration. Peter said, “Let’s build three tents (booths) here and reside where it’s secure and blissful.”

* * *

In today’s situation, Peter would say today, “Let’s not go down anymore, where there are sufferings, impeachments, kidnappings, extra-judicial killings, unreasonable people.”

But Jesus’ mission was not cut out that way. They went down into the valley – where they could undertake the ministry of loving service to all kinds of people, as Jesus did.

* * *

ASK YOURSELF: “When low points of faith come, do I worry myself to death or be overwhelmed by them?” Of course, human as we are, we will feel discouraged but we should strive to remedy our problems and move on. As the saying goes: “Do your best and God will do the rest.”

* * *

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