An Irishman moves into a tiny hamlet in County Kerry, walks into the pub and promptly orders three beers. The bartender raises his eyebrows, but serves the man three beers, which he drinks quietly at a table, alone and orders three more. As this continued every day the bartender asked him politely, “The folks around here are wondering why you always order three beers?” “It’s odd, isn’t it?” the man replies, “You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America, and the other to Australia. We promised each other that we would always order an extra two beers whenever we drank.”
Then, one day, the man comes in and orders only two beers. As this continued for several days, the bartender approached him with tears in his eyes and said, “Folks around here, me first of all, want to offer condolences to you for the death of your brother. You know-the two beers and all…” The man ponders this for a moment and then replies with a broad smile, “You’ll be happy to know that my two brothers are alive and well. It’s just that I, myself, have decided to give up drinking for Lent.”
This Sunday we climb Mount Tabor with Jesus. Here, we get a glimpse of the glory of Jesus, whose divine love is always transforming us. St. Francis de Sales notes: Jesus, through his Transfiguration, shows us a little spark of the eternal bliss that is awaiting us. Our Lord is transfigured to make us desire eternal happiness in its entirety.
Our gentle Savior wishes to make use of his divine attractions and inspirations to draw us to His most pure love. When God gives us faith, God speaks to our mind through inspirations. These first perceptions of God’s love are poured into us through the Holy Spirit. In hearts that give their consent, God, little by little, gently strengthens the holy love that comes from these inspirations.
The disciples experienced such delight on Mount Tabor that they wanted to stay there. Let us also place all our affections on Our Savior and aspire to the happiness that God has prepared for us. God has given us all the necessary means to attain the happiness of eternal glory. We too are climbing Mount Tabor, since we are firmly resolved to serve Our Savior well, and to love His divine Goodness. Yet, as it often happens when we begin to grow in holiness, we find our affections are still entangled with useless loves. Don’t be upset. It is an opportunity to practice virtue. You have a great desire for holiness. Nourish this desire and let it grow each day. If you stumble, cry out to Our Lord who desires your love, and will hold you by the hand. Without growing weary, let us climb Mount Tabor toward the heavenly vision our Savior gave us.
Walk joyously, then, among the difficulties of this passing life. Embrace all the challenges that you encounter along the path that God has marked out for you, and be at peace. Transformation is the true mark of a divine visitation. May you always desire it!