Today’s readings from the Book of Genesis and the Gospel of Mark led us to ideas about God. Ideas that can occupy our minds during this season of Lent. How close can we get to God?

Essentially both stories that we read today take place on Mountains. For ancient peoples, mountains were places where people experienced the presence of God.

Abraham, Noah, Moses and many of the Old Testament prophets are reported to have encountered God on a mountain. Mountains are symbolic of places or moments when people feel close to God.

In the Gospel story today it is Peter, James and John who experience God’s presence on a mountain. Nevertheless, unlike the Old Testament figures, they encounter the presence of God when they get a glimpse of who Jesus really is. He is their friend. He is a vulnerable human being like them. He is prone to sickness, sadness and happiness like them. He laughs and cries; he eats and drinks; he loves life and he fears death. He is a human being like each of them.

Yet, on this mountain, where ever it might have been, they get a glimpse of his oneness with God. He is God’s beloved son.
The invitation to each of us on this second Sunday of Lent is to climb the symbolic mountain in our own life. That mountain is a very human experience. It is a moment of deep discovery about the human nature of God. It is an experience of Jesus. He is everything we are – fully human! Yet He is God.

To discover this on our own personal mountain is to discover our own sacredness and the sacredness of every other person.