Get Your Butt Off the Mountain

Second Sunday of Lent

Reading 1 Gn 12:1-4a

The LORD said to Abram:
"Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk
and from your father's house to a land that I will show you.

"I will make of you a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you.
All the communities of the earth
shall find blessing in you."

Abram went as the LORD directed him.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22.

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Reading 2 2 Tm 1:8b-10

Bear your share of hardship for the gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

He saved us and called us to a holy life,
not according to our works
but according to his own design
and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,
but now made manifest
through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus,
who destroyed death and brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel.

Verse Before the Gospel Cf. Mt 17:5

From the shining cloud the Father's voice is heard:
This is my beloved Son, hear him.

Gospel Mt 17:1-9

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
"Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him."
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
"Rise, and do not be afraid."
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
"Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

- - -
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Oh man, the scrapbook moments of life are awesome, aren’t they? Do you ever scroll through your phone’s camera roll and get lost in the sweetness of memories?

Maybe it’s a wedding you attended, a girls’ weekend you loved, a retreat with good friends, the family beach day, the weekend getaway with your husband, a crisp fall day watching college football (gig ‘em) or a really stellar mom day—sometimes the moment stands still, doesn’t it? It feels so good to soak up that friendship and love and leave the worries of day-to-day life on the backburner.

Who wants to walk away from the beauty of those experiences?

The Apostles sure didn’t. Saints Peter, James, and John were thrilled: “Jesus, man, You are the Messiah! How about You, Moses and Elijah all camp here with us. We’ve got this rocking tent and some killer steaks on the grill. Let’s make it a sleepover!”

Of course they were giddy. Their Savior was before them, in dazzling white, reminding them of just how great God’s love was for them. I would’ve been looking for a tent, too. And perhaps a Dr Pepper.

But Jesus doesn’t call us to stay on the mountaintop of life. He asks us to amble our way back down to the valley. He asks us to suffer, to stretch out of our comfort zones, and to get real with people. You can’t lead people to Christ unless you meet them where they are. And girls, they ain’t at the top of the mountain.

Be inspired by your Savior on the mountaintop. Never forget what that goodness feels and looks like. Honor His commandments. But, get your butt off the mountain and get busy doing His work.

Rise, and do not be afraid.

Kathryn Whitaker and her husband, Scott, have 6 awesome kids, teen to toddler. She is a former public relations consultant turned freelance graphic designer, party planner, organizer, and preemie advocate who hails from the Lone Star state. You can find out more about her here.


  • Reply
    March 12, 2017 at 8:20 am

    This is one of my favorite reflections so far!!! It made me think of situations in my life a little different!
    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • Reply
    March 12, 2017 at 8:49 am

    So true! My day-to-day reality is not on the mountaintop. Last weekend I let myself have a couple of hours after Mass to go by myself and see “The Shack.” Since then, I’ve been asking God how I can increase my awareness of Him in the daily grind. I am trying to transform attentiveness to my health-challenged husband, an office job, college/homework, caring for aged parents, helping young adult children by imagining He is literally there among us, transforming the dull and nerve-wracking alike with His beauty and patience.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Gig ’em, indeed! 🙂
    My parish priest had the same message: we have to move on and do what the Lord expects of us!

    • Reply
      March 12, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Whoop! Sounds like a cool priest.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    That’s a mouthful! ‘ You can’t lead people to Christ, unless you meet them where they are!’ I’ll be contemplating on this all day, I know I will! Thank you!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Gig’em! Great reflection…it is too easy to get lost on the mountain and then be frustrated waiting for those of us below to get up there. Meet me, and push me up from behind. I like this visual. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Naomi Butler
    March 16, 2017 at 9:07 am

    important reminder- get down off the mt and do the Lord’s work- needed to hear that when I would just prefer everyday to be a MT top experience- but that is not the nitty, gritty of life- Jesus said, “GO, and make disciples…..” May He lead us. 😉

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