Keeping Our Eye On The "Prize"
Did you ever have one of those days that made you long for the eternal bliss of Heaven? A day when the daily troubles and worries just seem too much to handle? Life can be difficult sometimes and our human nature causes us to reject suffering and gravitate toward comfort. Unfortunately, that inclination sometimes gets us into trouble and creates a rift between us and the Lord, especially since one of the main requirements of Christianity involves carrying our crosses patiently.
In today’s gospel reading, after having told His disciples about the importance of suffering to His mission and to their lives (as His followers), Jesus reveals a glimpse of the Heavenly Kingdom to Peter, James and John (Mk 9:2-13). They are granted the privilege of seeing The Lord transfigured in His Heavenly glory. Reacting like any of us would, Peter likes it so much that he doesn’t want to leave! However, the vision soon disappears and they find themselves making their way back down the mountain. Even though they didn’t fully understand it, they were given a glimpse of what was to come.
This reading serves as proof that there is “a light at the end of the tunnel”. As we go through our daily struggles, we should always keep our eye on the Heavenly prize. That will help motivate us when we don’t feel like praying or going out of our way to help our neighbor. When we’re too tired to attend Sunday Mass, keeping the eternal goal in mind will help us to go anyway.
In a few days we’ll begin the holy season of Lent, a time for reflecting upon where we stand in our relationship with Christ. It is a time to turn away from our sinful ways and follow the teaching of the gospel. It is a time for obeying the words of God the Father as He says, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” It is a time to remember that the things of this life will pass. And most of all it is a time to set our sights on the heavenly “prize” that awaits us if we follow the commandments.