I’d like to share my experience atop Mt. Tabor with you. This was written October 2010, during my Holy Land pilgrimage:
In the morning, we rode taxis that spiraled up to the top of Mt. Tabor, the place where Jesus was transfigured. The church, cared for by the Franciscan friars, was simple and beautiful. After an introduction to the site and surrounding area, we had an hour to experience God in silent prayer, meditation, and/or Confession.
Immediately, I was drawn to the chapel left of the main altar (see photo), where the Blessed Sacrament is kept. There, pilgrims from around the world were prostrate at the feet of the Lord, much like Peter, James and John fell prostrate at the sound of the Father’s voice (Mt. 17:6). So I sat down on the floor amid them, and opened my Bible to Matthew 17 — the Transfiguration.
In an experience that I can only describe as Spirit-led, I became completely immersed in this relatively short Scripture passage. Previously, the story had not meant much to me. It had seemed like a story that just told us how these three disciples knew Jesus’ glory.
Yet, as I sat there at the feet of Jesus atop this blessed mountain, God guided my eyes to read each verse over and over again. With each reading, I began to understand – the eyes of my mind were enlightened.
I saw Jesus bringing his three close friends aside, trekking the Galilean terrain with them, and making the long, steep climb to the top of this mountain – which stands high above the rest. I marveled at Jesus’ glory revealed to the three in his transfiguration. I laughed at Peter’s eagerness to begin erecting tents. I understood the disciples’ fear upon hearing the voice of the Father booming from Heaven. I found comfort in the fact that, when they lifted their eyes after being afraid, they only saw Jesus.
By the time I was finished, I was so convinced of God’s presence and majesty in that place that I knelt with my face to the ground. My mind had no words or images… All I could do was worship the Son of God.