theROCK

Mountain Top Experiences

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Have you ever had a "mountain top" experience? One of those experiences or moments in life that you just don't want to end? Moments of seeing god to clearly and feeling his presence to powerfully that you want the moment to last forever?

The Transfiguration was a mountain top experience for Peter, James, and John. Jesus was revealed to them in all his glory at the top of Mount Tabor. They were so happy, so amazed, so in awe that they didn't want to leave. With any mountain top experience, we always have to come down from the mountain. The experience is meant to spur us into action. Jesus and the disciples still had a mission to fulfill, they couldn't just sit on the mountain. Yes that experience of grace transformed their hearts.

My prayer is that we too travel to the top of the mountain to be transformed and spurred into action to share God's love with others.

The Chair of St. Peter

When my family and I vacationed in Italy, it was one of the best experiences of our lives. The highlight of our trip was visiting Rome and attending Sunday Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. In the basilica there is a huge altar honoring the Chair of St. Peter. Breathtaking!

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter in February. It brings to my mind the lineage of the popes through the ages who have led the people of God, focusing on the mission of Christ who came not to abolish the law of the prophets, but to fulfill them. It makes me think of how popes have struggled through conflict, indeed--sin, some not so successfully, to Christ's vision of a more sincere, more perfect fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.

In His continuation of the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord's message to us is ultimately that of love - to be reconciled to your neighbor - to respect your brothers and sisters. 

Let's be mindful of the legacy that the popes have left us - to fulfill the Law and the Prophets more perfectly through Christ's command to love one another. St. Peter, pray for us!

A New Commandment

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Mandatum Novum—a new commandment.

This gospel passage, “I give you a new commandment, ” is one of my favorites.  The passage follows Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet on the night before Jesus died. Jesus, no doubt full of anguish, because he knew he was about to be betrayed and of his impending passion, gives them his last words of advice before taking up the cross. With all of the “stuff” our Lord has going on, he still has his mission to fulfill. Within moments, Judas will betray him. In a few short hours, Peter will deny him—not once, but three times! Yet, the Lord shows us yet another example of humility by washing feet.

We all have a mission to fulfill, and we all have “stuff” going on in our lives. The reading and re-reading of this passage gives me cause to think of how I am responding to everyday events in my life. Today is a good day for all of us to evaluate how the Lord’s new commandment is relevant in our lives.

Lord, grant us your humility, that even in our daily trials, to see the opportunities to wash the feet of our brothers and sisters. Let your Mandatum Novum be our Novus Via Vitae—new way of life.

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