There’s nothing like the great outdoors. Being out in nature whether it be for a hike, a walk, or an overnight camping trip always provides an opportunity to take in the simply beauty of our surroundings…that is of course if there isn’t bugs buzzing in our ears, freezing cold wind blowing in our face, and we are dry with food and water readily available. On some level, we can’t help but imagine what it would be like to live in the wilderness of the desert for 40 whole days and nights without food and just the bare essentials to survive on. We don’t even really like it when we sleep in a bed other than our own let alone sacrificing the creature comforts of our home for well over a month. The thing is Jesus ends his time at his desert destination by picking up where he left off wandering throughout the land of Israel. Still homeless, still with meager means, but soon accompanied by 12 com-padres who join Him for the journey. Together they launch into a 3 year camping expeditions where they travel 100s of miles a year by 2
foot. In fact Aurthur Blessit Guinness Book recorder holder for world’s longest walk—spending over 46 years walking a 12 foot cross a distance over 41,000 miles through 324 nations was inspired by the life style of Jesus as a sojourner. Whether you think its fun or not our Lord was in reality a camper and expeditioner on top of being our Savior and Redeemer. So when we here in our Gospel the words of our beloved Peter saying to Jesus, “Hey so I guess we’re camping on top this mountain for the night then, huh…I’ll make a tent up for you and Moses and Elijah.” You halfway expect him to follow up that line with, Hey Moses we’re grilled some hot dogs, do you take relish on your dog.” For Peter, James, John, and the rest of the 12 this was their way of life pitching tents and going from one place to the next. But this is no regular KOA—here in this mountain top experience a ray of light is shown forth revealing Jesus not as a wander or vagabond—like His usual Human self but here in the presence of His Father’s words His divinity is made evident. Jesus is identified with a Possessive pronoun MY—BELOVED Son. Jesus permanently belongs to the Father, this is 3
His real home—being one with His DAD. The 3 disciples respond through a serious change of behavior they’re no longer looking for where they left the sticks and the stuff to make s’mores, but instead we hear that they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. Prostration is the posture of worship taken up by the 24 elders in the book of revelation as they cast down their golden crowns and adore the one seated on the heavenly throne. Even their fear is an expression of their holy awe or reverence reserved for Almighty God. Only when they are touched by Jesus are they able to move and regain their composure.
This experience as rich as it was seemed to have no real lasting impact on the behavior of Peter, James, and John; they keep camping, and following the Lord, but treat Him no different until that is after His death and resurrection. Only then do they worship Him as the true God, Jesus Son of the Father.
My Brothers and Sisters, you might or might not be the outdoor-zie type but the proper translation of pitching a tent in the original 4
language was ‘to tabernacle’ to dwell in one’s midst. We are here too worship the living and true God who is right here in our midst, where in Eucharist Jesus’ face is shone like the Sun dazzling—yet humble in appearance enabling us to receive not with fear and trembling but with reverence and awe. Lent is our expedition of grace where we follow the Lord through hills, mountains in valleys as we attempt to simplify our life and shed our comforts in order to belong more entirely to Him. As the Lord touches us this at Holy Communion may we be moved to enter in our journey of faith with Joy walking with the Lord becoming more fully His disciple.