Coming Down the Mountain

Coming down from a mountaintop experience is challenging! Just ask Saints Peter, James, and John. They witnessed one of the most defining moments in Christ’s time on Earth in the Transfiguration, and they couldn’t comprehend what they saw.

Jesus had to spell out how Saint John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah (wait, so Elijah himself isn’t coming back?), and that people did whatever they wanted (yep, they beheaded John), and the same fate (you got it, death) was awaiting Him down the mountain. So, what does Jesus do? He packs them up and takes a hike toward His destiny. Wait, can’t we just put up some tents and roast some s’mores, Jesus? Full account is in Matthew 17:1-13.

At some point in our faith journey, we will each have a mountaintop moment or two. Maybe you’ve had one already. Perhaps it was an intense encounter with Christ in Adoration, or someone prayed with you when you needed it most, or you’ve had an intimate experience of God on retreat. Whatever the moment, the question we have to ask is, are we ready for what we will encounter off the mountain?

When you completely follow Christ, expect people to enter your life who need healing, mercy, and love. These are the people Jesus and the Apostles met the second they descended the mountain. God didn’t select these three from the twelve for this mountain moment so that they would feel superior to the other Apostles.

No, He gave them this moment because He knew they would need it to push through the tough days to come, as well as the doubt, and persecution.

So, if you find your life more challenging since your mountaintop moment came to pass, you are in good company. It means you are following Christ closely. Retain the memory of the mountain, but keep your feet in motion, and lose the tent. He does not want you stagnant in faith. He has plans for you beyond your comprehension.

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Raphael painting Christ’s Transfiguration as his final masterpiece. It’s housed in the Vatican museum. See it and its story here.

Tricia Tembreull is a California girl with a boundless passion for life. After two decades of ministering to teens and youth ministers as a trainer, ministry mentor, and speaker in Catholic youth ministry, Tricia now serves as Campus Minister at USC Caruso Catholic Center. She loves adventure and seeks it everywhere she goes. As an avid foodie, she enjoys testing new recipes out on friends and family, gathering them around the table to encounter Christ in one another and be drawn to the satisfying unity we crave in the Eucharist. You can find out more about her here


  • Reply
    December 15, 2018 at 8:39 am

    It does my heart good to read the reflection and realize why we have these moments and what God wants us to do with them. God so loves us and we need to love others and be the light with God’s help.

  • Reply
    December 15, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    The imagery and message of this was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

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