Transfiguration, life’s peaks & valleys

Published March 17, 2019, 12:34 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

WORD ALIVE

By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD
Fr. Bel R. 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!” She almost passed out of nervous breakdown.

Entrusting ourselves in the hands of a surgeon, especially a greenhorn, 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 misfortunes like the sudden death of a loved one, a financial crisis, a serious sickness, a failed marriage.

* * *

When such adversities 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, trusting in God’s help and providence.

* * *

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 is so much suffering, kidnapping, extra-judicial killing, unreasonable people.”

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

* * *

ASK YOURSELF: When low points of faith come do I worry myself to death or be overwhelmed by them? Human as we are, we will feel discouraged but, with faith in God, let’s rise and remedy our problems.  As the saying goes, “Do your best and God will do the rest.”

* * *

PILGRIMAGE TO BALKAN COUNTRIES? Yes, indeed. There are also Catholic shrines that can be visited in the Balkans composed of Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the Marian shrine of Medjogorje.

* * *

Seeing the holy places there is thrilling because, for many Filipino pilgrims, they are “new.” The itinerary starts in Manila followed by Venice, Italy, and ends at Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb.

* * *

The pilgrimage is on June 12-25, 2019. I will serve as chaplain.

For further inquiries, call Ms. Fe Buenviaje at 09178194509, 09995139517 or e-mail: .

* * *

THE LIGHTER SIDE. A tribe of cannibals in Africa was converted to Christianity by a Catholic missionary. Now on Lenten Fridays they only eat fishermen.

* * *

Nun to drunken man praying the Stations of the Cross: “Mister, you’re doing it backwards!”

Man: “Ha, no wonder, Jesus Christ gets stronger and stronger after every Station!”

 
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