Coming down from the mountaintop

“It is good that we are here.”

Standing on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, these words echoed in my heart much as they had been spoken by Peter after witnessing Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountaintop.

“It is good that we are here.” It is good that I am here.

Just as Peter witnessed Jesus in His glory speaking to Elijah and Moses, I was walking the ground where Jesus walked, witnessing the story on the ground level, and I was moved and amazed. I sat where Jesus preached about the Beatitudes, and where He fed the 5,000. I stood in the Garden of Gethsemane overlooking the Temple mount, thinking of how Jesus prayed with His destiny clearly in view. I sat on the Southern Steps of the Temple mount and listened to Jeff Cavin explain the words Jesus had spoken in that very place.

It’s one thing to read about it. It’s quite another to be there.

Yet, as we came to the Mount of the Transfiguration, the rest of the story didn’t sit with me as well. After the Transfiguration, everything returns to normal and Jesus, Peter, and the others come down the mountain to go on with life as they had before.

I knew this journey would end, but I really liked the mountaintop view. How do you go back down the mountain? How do you keep from losing the power of the view?

I wondered this as I went to Mass on Sunday. I had been to Mass on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, on the banks of the Jordan, and in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where we worshiped in view of the places where Jesus was crucified, died, was buried, and rose from the dead. I could see all of those places from my seat in Mass as we celebrated and received Jesus in the bread and the wine of the Eucharist.

Now, my church is beautiful, but not much can compare to those Masses.

Sitting in the pew, waiting for Mass to begin, it struck me.

It is good that I am here.

I hadn’t left the mountaintop. I brought it with me.

Jesus walked the hills of Galilee and the streets of Jerusalem, and He is here with me more intimately than He ever was there. As the readings are proclaimed, I am sitting at His feet, just as the people of Israel did all those years ago. As I hear the words, “This is my body, given up for you,” I see the hill of Calvary and the place where they laid Him in the tomb. As I sing “Holy, holy, holy,” I praise God with the angels, knowing more deeply than I ever did before that His Son walked the earth as I am doing now.

Where I am is not a let down from the mountain. It is filled and given so much more depth because of the mountain.

For that, I am truly grateful.

I hope that you were able to join me on my journey through Facebook and Instagram. If not, I’ll share some highlights and pictures tomorrow. For now, I invite you to be here with me in this holy place where Jesus is closer to you than you can imagine.

It is good that we are here.

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Karen May

Inspirational Catholic Writer and Speaker

based in Austin, Texas