Mark 6:7-13 ~ Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying. While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.
Jesus went up the mountain to pray with his friends. They all came down the mountain changed and transfigured. When is the last time your prayer encounter changed you? If we really heard the voice of God, our Beloved… we would be enlightened today.
I heard a parable. A man who was entirely careless of spiritual affairs died and went to hell. And he was much missed on earth by his old friends. His business agent went down to the gates of hell to see if there was any chance of getting him out of hell and brought back. But though he pleaded for the gates to be opened, the iron bars never yielded. His priest also went and argued: ‘He was not really a bad fellow, but given time he would have matured. Let him out, please!”
The gates remained stubbornly shut against all their voices. Finally, his mother came; she did not beg for his release. Quietly, and with a strange catch in her voice, she said to Satan: “Let me in.”
Immediately the great doors swung open upon their hinges. For love goes down through the gates of hell and there redeems the dead. (G.K. Chesterton)
For God so loved the world… that He sent his only son to bring all of us home. Jesus, that chosen son, simply said, “Let me in.” The gates opened when a young virgin opened her heart and soul. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
If we were to become fully awake we would see Jesus in all of his glory. We would enter the terrifying cloud. With Jesus in our own Body and Blood, we would hear with our own ears God speaking to our own hearts:
This is my chosen son.
This is my chosen daughter.
This is my chosen sister and brother.
This is my chosen grandfather and grandmother.
This is my chosen mother.
This is my chosen father.
I am with you, always, until the end of time.
You and I are bonded together in a marriage that can never be broken.
We are one with Jesus when we Love One Another.
The Exodus that Moses & Elijah spoke of with Jesus to be accomplished in Jerusalem… It will be Jesus taking us to our heavenly home through the narrow Gate of the Cross. We are no longer bystanders at the foot of the cross. We are crucified beside him and within him. Jesus tells us, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
We receive Jesus in the Eucharist, his body and blood. It is hard to grasp or imagine that God, the creator of the world, is sharing our blood and body. It is impossible for God to divorce God’s very own flesh! We are one with God forever. We are loved for all eternity.
Jesus cries out, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Jesus is saying, “Let all of us in.”
John, the beloved disciple who went up the mountain with Jesus to pray, eventually describes it like this in the book of Revelation: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.”
After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent…
The doors open with great glory.
Our faces have changed in appearance and our clothing becomes dazzling white.
God is smiling with great love.
“Welcome home my Beloved!”
Of what or whom could we possibly be afraid?