Mountain Experience

In the Bible, the mountain always has a special meaning: it is the high place, where heaven and earth “meet,” and where Moses and the prophets had the extraordinary experience of encountering God. Climbing the mountain means getting a little closer to God. The Gospel of today presents us the mountain experience of the apostles of Jesus (Mark 9:2-13)

Rediscover the Essence of our Life

Our life needs, from time to time, to go up Mount Tabor, the mount of transfiguration. This helps us to recover the center and the essence of our life, to rediscover again the source from which we come, to get refocused on the goal towards which we tend: heaven. In other words, to re-tune ourselves to who we are and should truly be. This is the experience of transfiguration. But the transfiguration experience cannot last forever. The spiritual experience and wonderful encounter with God cannot remain stuck there on Tabor, making three tents, but one must have the courage to go down again to everyday life. We pray; we work.

Not Spiritual Laziness

In our quest to go up the mountain from time to time, let us be careful, however: Peter’s feeling that “it is good for us to stay here” must not become spiritual laziness, says Pope Francis. We cannot stay on the mountain and enjoy the bliss of this meeting alone. Jesus himself brings us back to the valley; encourages us to go down among our brothers and sisters in daily life. According to Pope Francis, we must guard against spiritual laziness, that is, feeling that we are fine with our prayers and liturgies, and this is enough for us. No! Climbing the mountain is not forgetting reality; praying is never escaping from the toils of life. No, this is not Jesus’ message. We are called to experience the encounter with Christ because, illuminated by his light, we can bring it and make it shine everywhere: this is the Christian’s mission, and this is what we bring down from our mountain experience.

The Mount of Holy Mass

We could compare this extraordinary event which reveals the mystery of Jesus to the disciples to what happens every Sunday in the celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy, and not only on Sundays, but at every Holy Mass. Jesus, at Mass, summons us around him on the mount of the holy liturgy. On the altar, Jesus is transfigured, becoming food and drink for our salvation. The voice of God also descends from heaven for us in the proclamation of the Holy Scriptures. And we too, disciples of the new age, are granted the grace of being able to participate in the unveiling of the mystery of Jesus. At the end of each experience, the priest, like Jesus, invites us to go down from the mountain into the daily reality of the world to bring the beauty of God to everyone we meet.

[Readings: Heb 11:1-7; Mk 9:2-13]

Fr. John Bosco Obiako

Fr. JohnBosco Obiako is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu, Nigeria. He is a doctoral student of Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome - Italy, with a special interest in Philosophy and Ethics of technology. He also provides spiritual and pastoral services as Chaplain to African Anglophone Catholic Community in the Diocese of Prato, Italy. Email contact: [email protected]


  1. Tina on February 18, 2023 at 9:45 am

    Thank you for this wonderful reflection. I especially appreciate the simplicity of “we pray, we work.” The application of the Transfiguration to the mass is engaging and I look forward to thinking about it at mass. Thank you!

  2. Nancy J Coffey on February 18, 2023 at 8:03 am

    Thank you for writing this motivational and insightful article. God bless you.

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