They had been His closest companions for some time. Daily, they had heard Him preach, had watched Him perform Miracles. They were familiar with His habits. They were beginning to take Him for granted. And so, He led them to a secluded place on a mountain top, and there, He shocked them into a renewed sense of His person and mission.
Sunday after Sunday, we file into church. We take our accustomed seat. A shadow of a prayer flits across our consciousness. We listen as someone reads from scripture, a homily is preached, bread and wine are brought to the altar, bells ring. We try to pray more fervently. Then there is the step-by-step progression up the aisle to receive Holy Communion. The final blessing, and it's over for another week. Another familiar Sunday Mass.
We have all heard that familiarity breeds contempt. A little strong in the present context, but surely, it is not an exaggeration to say that familiarity with the Mass can lead to taking it for granted, just as familiarity with Jesus led the apostles to take Him for granted.
It is not likely that our faith is going to be reinforced by anything as dramatic as the Transfiguration. As the church matures, the touch of God's hand tends to become more and more subtle ...all the more reason why it is imperative that we maintain a sensitivity to the reality of the Mass. It is Christ's way of bringing to us, all that He is and all that we can be.
And so, if we get little or nothing from this encounter, we have only ourselves to blame, for it means that we approach the Mass with insufficient preparation, reflection and consequent prayerful concentration.
It is an absolutely certain fact that if we cooperate, God will enlighten us and strengthen our awareness ...and like Peter, we will treasure the hours spent in this Sanctuary echoing his words: "Lord, it is good for us to be here."