05 Editorial - Become what you Behold - Fr Anthony Charanghat

posted Feb 22, 2018, 9:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 22, 2018, 11:15 PM ]
The Scripture readings for the Second Sunday of Lent recount three types of mountaintop spirituality needed for the fullness of faith, love and life to experience the resplendence of the Christ Transfiguration. We are drawn to climb these mountains. The Transfiguration invites us to configuration. We cast off everything unworthy of our personal relationship with the Infinite, and we take on the lustre of the Son of God. Silently from Tabor, the Saviour begs: "Become what you behold!"

The feast of the Transfiguration brings into our hearts glimpses of the fullness and greatness of God. However, there are a lot of times when we feel low and spiritually dry, and could hardly feel God's glory. Our brokenness and sinfulness somehow make us spiritually blind and insensitive to all that He has done for us. We feel so detached from our Lord, quite far from Him, that we find it quite difficult to see the great things we have in Him.

So let us look at these three mountains. First, there is Mount Moriah. In his old age, Abraham is asked to leave the people of the Chaldeans and their awe and belief in child-sacrifice and go to a place God intended. God called him to a mountain to teach him in a very dramatic way that human sacrifice can never be part of fidelity to the God of Life.

We are called during Lent to abandon the worship of gods of our culture (when we allow our politics, entertainment and cultural permissiveness and greed to direct our values) and to discover again our fidelity to the one true God.

St Paul speaks about Christ's Love for us shown on Mount Calvary. During Lent, we are called to embrace more fully the love of Jesus Christ, and see Him as our only Saviour. Several years ago, the Holy See issued a document on contemporary 'New Age thinking' and its contrast with Christianity.

New Age thought does not see God as a personal being, but as an impersonal cosmic energy to be harnessed and used. God is not beyond us, but within us. It sees us somehow saving ourselves through techniques of self-fulfilment, self-realisation, self-redemption, rather than salvation coming from the Passion, death and Resurrection of Christ. Salvation is seen not as a liberation from sin, but only a vague self-induced transformation of consciousness. It confuses psychology and spirituality.

In New Age meditation, we are not encountering the living God, but talking in effect to our inner selves. It sees sin as an imperfection, and so we go through a cycle of reincarnation (recycling) until we get it right, rather than seeing our life as a unique and sacred drama of sin and grace, our one-time journey back to God. To climb the hill of Calvary is to leave this self-absorption behind and see Jesus Christ alone, the Way the Truth and the Life, that comes to us each from His saving death and Resurrection.

Finally, there is Mount Tabor, the Mountain of Transfiguration, that revealed something stupendous to the apostles. We can limit our vision and hope to this world as the apostles thought, but He took them up a high mountain. Once there, He started to change—first His clothing, then He Himself. Then Elijah and Moses appeared. Then the cloud came and the voice, "This is my Beloved Son; listen to him!" Suddenly, everything was over. Jesus was standing there, just as they had seen Him before. But now, they knew what the future held not only for Jesus, but for themselves as well.

The call of Mount Tabor to them (and us) is to trust in the glory that awaits us. Our Christian life here, whatever the cost, is only the beginning of a transformation and a glorious future with Christ!