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Feb 25th, 2024 | The 23rd Times

By February 22, 2024 No Comments
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A Message from Fr. Jay

Dear Friends,

Have you ever had a mountain experience? The second year after my ordination, I was sent to Sacred Heart Church as Parochial Vicar in Kodaikanal hills in India. It is 2000 feet above sea level and therefore always cool or cold in wintertime & pleasant in summer. It is the best place as a summer resort to avoid the scorching heat of the plains. Every day of my nine months that I stayed there, brings back memories of the mesmerizing look of the beautiful misty mountains, its cliffs, and the greater silence with little sounds of small insects that cannot be seen.

The events in the First reading and the Gospel take place on mountains. A mountain is not simply a place of beauty that we can admire, but also believed to be the house of God.

In the first reading, we find Abraham taking Isaac to a mountain called Moriah reaching it after ‘three days walk’. We must see how much Abraham suffered to see his only innocent son, walking to his own tomb for three days, carrying wood for his own death/holocaust and this sounds like Jesus’ passion – suffering for three days, walking on the mount Calvary, carrying his own cross. But this chosen one became the instrument of realizing God’s promise of multiplying the whole family of Abraham/Israel.

In the gospel, Peter gives his exotic comments during the transfiguration of Jesus, on building three tents for Jesus, Moses and Elijah who also have had the mountain experiences. In Bible history, the mountain experience of Moses brought the Ten Commandments of the Lord and the mountain experience of Elijah brought glory to the Lord through the victory over the priests of Baal-the pagan god on mount Carmel.

Peter gloriously admires the experience of transfiguration and sees Jesus as a hero chosen by God and yet did not understand him as the Son of God, the chosen Messiah. Jesus makes him wait (He told them not to relate what they had seen to anyone except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead) until he fulfills his final mountain experience on mount Calvary.

During this Lenten season, let us ponder over the occasions of our encountering experience with God and, of course, we do not need a mountain to experience God’s encounter. Let us make a special visit to our Eucharistic Adoration Chapel during the week and experience the encounter with Him.

God Bless,
Fr. Jay Raju

  • Reading 1: Genesis 22 (please read the whole chapter for a better understanding)
  • Reading 11: Romans 8:31b-34
  • Gospel: Mark 9:2-10