Helen and I took 3 1/2 days to drive north from Yuma, Arizona to our recreational property near Keremeos, B.C. We were in Keremeos for about a week before returning to our home at Vanderhoof. It was an interesting winter in the south as I think I had indicated in earlier blogs posted while in Yuma. We certainly found a winter Church home at St. John Neumann parish in the foothills of Yuma. On our last Sunday there, Fr. John Friel’s homily focused on the transfiguration recorded in Luke’s Gospel [Luke 9: 28b-36]. As the Gospel account records, Jesus was accompanied up the mountain by 3 of his Apostles: Peter, John and James. The 3 obviously accompanied Jesus so that they could later be witnesses of what transpired on the Mountain.
What transpired on the Mountain, of course, is set out clearly in Luke’s Gospel. As we trudge along day to day we may often forget that each of us is called to transfiguration experiences of our own. We need to develop our 3rd eye [our spiritual eye] that we might encounter God in this fashion. St Paul certainly had that experience on the road to Damascus and the experience radically changed his life. Such encounters can be enormously uplifting and significant as the Transfiguration was for the 3 Apostles. Our normal human vision of course doesn’t offer us a view of the spiritual happenings that abound around us although we are surrounded by such phenomena. We are all called however to develop and utilize our spiritual eyes. Developing our spiritual vision, as is the case when we work to develop any human attribute, requires time, effort and persistence if we hope to succeed. Think about the first time you laid eyes on your spouse or on your new born baby. Your physical eyesight had been years in the making and that developed eyesight helped you to relate to the miracle of love that accompanied the growing relationship with your spouse and with your child.
Spiritual vision is primarily about relationship and about love for the reason that as you experience spiritual vision you experience the love of your Creator. There is so much going on around us that we do not perceive if we not see Jesus in our midst. For countless people that is the story of their daily lives. They trudge on oblivious to the miracle of love that is so close that it would touch them to the very core of their beings if only they would see.
It is one thing to comprehend this reality but it is another thing to experience it. All of us have the opportunity to really see. God’s grace is abundant and available to those who seek it. We start by telling Jesus that we want to get to know Him more intimately. That disclosure, so long as it is from the heart, opens the door to the Holy Spirit who, like a good optometrist, guides us to better vision.
Transfiguration experiences are really about perceiving and responding to the constant spiritual stimuli that represent loving communication from the Creator who wants to remind us of His love for us and the goal of our pilgrimage here which is union with God. No matter our station in life or the difficulties we experience along the way, we can move forward with great confidence and security if we see spiritually. Make it a priority to improve your spiritual vision. If you do, you’ll be like the near sighted person who didn’t know how handicapped he was until he got his first set of glasses. A whole new world opened up to him.