Meaning of the Tabor Experience


Meaning of the Tabor Experience

Today we journey to the mountaintop twice.  In the first reading, we climbed the mountain with a heavy heart along with Abraham because his child Isaac was to be sacrificed. In the Gospel reading, we climbed up again to pray with Jesus in the company of Peter, James and John.

In biblical tradition, mountains are the usual settings for supernatural revelations and theophanies. On Mount Tabor, the apostles got a glimpse of the glory that belonged to Jesus as the Son of God. So wonderful was this experience that Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” Surely, it is good for us to be here this Sunday morning/ noon because here we can get a glimpse of our glory, for we too are children of God.

This Tabor experience came at a crucial moment in the life of Jesus that is at the start of his journey to Jerusalem. Up to this time, Jesus had been working mostly in Galilee. Even there he had a lot of opposition from the religious leaders. Jesus knew that his journey to Jerusalem would end in a violent death. It seemed that he climbed the Mount Tabor to pray about it.

The most important thing in Jesus’ life was his relationship with his heavenly Father. That relationship was well grounded from the beginning. However, when the powers of darkness appear to attack Jesus, it was to the Father that he turned for guidance and strength. We don’t know exactly what happened at Mount Tabor, but we do know that Jesus heard again the words of affirmation he had heard at his baptism: “You are my Son, the beloved; my favour rests on you” (Mark 1:11). At Mount Tabor, Jesus felt himself comforted and affirmed by His heavenly Father’s presence and support. By this, he knew that the Father was pleased with him and would give him strength to face the challenges ahead. He knew that with God on his side, he could face anything.

Like Jesus and the three apostles on Mount Tabor, we too can experience moments of light and joy. Like Jesus, when moments of darkness or dark shadows come, we must do what Jesus did. We must seek God in our prayer. When we do so, we will surely hear a voice whispering to us in our hearts, “You are my beloved son, or my beloved daughter.” When we hear that inner voice, we will know that we are at home with God and will have nothing to fear. Once we come to the deeper knowledge and experience that we are born out of love and we will die into love, for sure all forms of evil will lose their power over us. It is comforting to know that the road we are travelling every day is marked by the feet of countless holy people who have gone before us. Let us walk boldly with the grace of God.

By Susai Jesu, OMI
Vocation Team – Contact West
Phone: (587) 335-2015