When I used to watch a lot of T.V, I would sometimes watch old sitcoms. One of them was “The Facts of Life”. The show’s theme song began with “You take the good, you take bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life”. Life is filled with ups and downs, it is always a mixture of joys and sorrow. It is just a fact of life.
On today’s feast of the Transfiguration, Jesus teaches us that following Him is no different. He takes Peter, James, and John up a high mountain by themselves. Now in the bible, mountains were important spiritual locations. They are high up and away from the noise of the world. People like Moses, encountered God on mountains. On this mountain, Jesus was transfigured before his friends. His clothes became white as light. We can picture Peter, James, and John overjoyed at this tremendous sight! They probably thought, “Yes! Jesus is the long awaited Savior and Messiah! What a joy and blessing!” St. Peter even says, “Lord it is good that we are here, if you wish, I will make three tents”. However, as we read on, Jesus does not wish to stay up on the mountaintop. He understands He has a mission to fulfill. He cannot remain up and away from the stress, problems, and sins of the world below. When there is a challenge, Jesus does not run away from it, but He faces it courageously. He must face suffering and the cross.
Like the apostles, we too are tempted to think Christian life should be just be comfortable. We ask God to allow us to escape the problems of earthly life and give us a spiritual high. Who wants to face suffering, challenges, and problems anyway? Sometimes we think that just because try to be good Catholics, God will suddenly exempt us from suffering. The truth though, no one in this life is exempt from suffering. Not even Jesus was. This gospel shows us that in the Christian life, we will always experience joy and sorrows, peaks and valleys, the good with the bad. Whenever we encounter challenges in life, our priesthood, our marriage, with our kids, coworkers, job, or finances, Jesus shows us that we cannot just run away. We must face them with faith and courage. Amid the joys and sorrows of our Christian journey, God the Father urges us always listen to His Beloved Son. Jesus will always be with us no matter what. This is a fact of Christian life.