By Father Michael Alcock
Have you ever been fortunate enough to have one of those moments in which you have experienced, perhaps ever so briefly, the glory of God? Perhaps through a sunset, a moment of prayer, the closeness of a special friendship or the high of gathering with like-minded young Christians at an event or rally ? If you have, you know these are precious moments and are to be treasured!! You will also know that eventually, no matter how wonderful they were, these moments fade and we are called to return to the very ordinariness of our lives.
In this week’s gospel we have Jesus being transfigured. We have a moment when the disciples are shown a glimpse of the glory of the risen Christ which is to come. Why the disciples are given this experience we can only guess……perhaps it might have provided them with the hope and courage to keep on going when the times got tough ahead?
One thing we do know is that Peter wanted to hold onto that moment. He wanted to stay on the mountain in the presence of the glorified Christ. As he himself says: “ Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah” Why would they want to leave the mountain? Jesus is heading in a direction which can only lead them all into danger!!!
Peter like many of us I would suggest would prefer to skip to the glory of Easter Sunday without having to go through the Good Friday experience. Remember last week when Jesus made his choice in the face of the temptations in the desert? Jesus refutes all the temptations of the devil and makes his stand. His way is not going to be the way of power, authority or prestige. Jesus’ way will be the way of the cross. He has made his choice.
And so Jesus, we are told today, is found alone. He comes down from the mountain to continue in the direction of Jerusalem: toward his journey through Good Friday to Easter Sunday. There is no other path he can now take if he remains true to himself and the will of his Father.
Yes we are called to treasure those special moments of our lives when we have experienced in a tangible way the glory of God. As we begin our 2nd week of Lent, however, we might ask the Lords strength to pray that “it is wonderful for us to be here” in any situation in which we find ourselves (the painful ones as well). That my young friends is an act of faith and trust in our God who will never forsake us.