“But I’ve never had that moment…”
In my over fifteen years of listening to high school retreat talks, I never fail to hear the same refrain from some of the students. “I can’t give this talk about God because I’ve never had “that moment.”’ When I probe about what particular moment they are talking about, it usually boils down to that transformative moment like the one mentioned in today’s Gospel. The one where Jesus shows up to you all sparkling white, undeniably showing you His presence.
I always try and reassure them reminding them that most of us spend our time at the base of the mountain. Most of us find God in the ordinary, every day moments of life. Most of us have to engage in reflection and prayer to identify those times as well because often they don’t blind us like Jesus standing before us in dazzling white.
Because of this, when we share those ordinary moments, those glimpses of God in nature or people or animals or moments, that’s when we can help others find those moments in their own lives as well.
I love Gospels like today because they remind me that God sometimes shows up like this… but often does not. All twelve apostles didn’t go up on the mountain and witness this clear sign from God. Most of them had to hear about it secondhand. This was also one of so many moments that Jesus showed His friends exactly who He was, and a lot of them were far subtler. They caught glimpses of His divinity walking beside Him from town to town. They saw it when He spoke to people with kindness, compassion, and truth. They saw it when He prayed. If they really paid attention, they didn’t need the moment of dazzling white to know they were walking around with God. It didn’t hurt, but it wasn’t everything.
Most of us spend our days at the bottom of the mountain. And God is there too. May we discover God in our midst and share those moments of God’s presence with one another. May we find peace in how God shows up for us and stop waiting for “that moment.” Because if we do, we might miss so much along the way.