I've used the term "mountaintop" in faculty meetings to describe those moments, specifically while on retreat and/or during high points of our year, that fill us with energy, passion, conviction and inspiration. Basking in the light while on the mountain fills us with hope and joy. Like the apostles in today's Gospel, we would like to stay there forever.
We've seen His glory. We've experienced His transforming power. But, we've also realized that we do not, and in this world cannot, stay on the mountain.
We have not been called to stay there; those deemed worthy to ascend to the heights are simultaneously called to descend to the pits and valleys and point, lead, guide and assist others to the mountaintop.
Oftentimes, we find this work arduous. Challenges abound. Setbacks occur. The ascent is fraught with difficult footing, conditions, and passages. Discouragement mounts. Doubt clouds our perspective, making it seem as though making it back to top is not only impossible but also pointless.
As His disciples we must keep the memory of our mountaintop experiences at the forefront of our minds. We must guard these moments within our hearts and not allow anything or anyone to steal them from us. Using applied optimism, we must recollect the energy, passion, conviction and inspiration found on the mountaintop and tap into it in moments of darkness and despair. The hope of restoration should propel us back to the peak.
We were not made for comfort; we were made for greatness. Greatness isn't easy. It involves hard work, hard work that we can do.
There is a line from the second part of the Eucharistic prayer that states, "giving thanks that you have held us worthy to be in your presence and minister to you." As ministers of Catholic education, God has held us worthy to be in His presence and minister to Him through our work at Incarnation Catholic School. He has deemed us worthy to join in His Passion. Let us always give Him thanks for this, no matter how long the journey, no matter how heavy the cross.
For if He has found us worthy to join in carrying His cross, we are also worthy of participating in His death and Resurrection.
Both the Transfiguration and the Crucifixion take place on the top of a mountain. We can't have one without the other. So, let us not count the cost. Let us not worry. Let us not doubt.
Let us ascend with hope. Let us rise...to the mountaintop!