19TH FEBRUARY 2022
PRIVILEGE AND FAITHFULNESS
The Gospel of today is about the transfiguration of the Jesus in the mountain before Peter, James and John. The transfiguration is one of the highest and most powerful revelation and affirmation of Jesus as the Messiah, Son of God. This is very important revelation and affirmation of Jesus’ Messianship. Jesus wants to teach them and give them an assurance to clear their doubt that He is the True Messiah the Prophet and the Book of the Law mention. Moses, who appeared in the transfiguration, refers to the Law that all Jews appreciate and obey very much. Elijah, the greatest prophet, appeared to show that all that is said about the Messiah by prophets is true.
The two personages show that the whole Old Testament confirms that Jesus is the Messiah God promised. Therefore, everybody needs to listen, obey and believe in Him. This is so important revelation about who truly Jesus and how he is going to accomplish his mission God entrusted to Him. And if it was a revelation about Jesus’ messianship, his mission, why Jesus chose only the three of the Apostles? Why not before all the twelve? We cannot respond to this question. What we can say is that it was Jesus’ decision to choose only the three. That was a kind of privilege for them.
What is privilege? We can give a very short definition and characteristic of the word privilege. Privilege refers to a special advantage or benefit or right given freely and gratuity to an individual or a group. There is nothing about the merit or worthiness of the person given. It just comes from the generosity and the authority of the one who gives it. But privilege, in return, needs the result and the responsibility of the person to whom it is granted for his own benefit or for others.
Jesus has the twelve Apostles to be with Him and to be taught for the future Mission. But in this Gospel, Jesus chose only Petr, James and John to reveal and confirm his true identity as the Messiah sent by God. This is great privilege for them. Maybe Jesus, since He knows everything, wants and has special plan and mission entrusted to the three of them. This was not the first time Jesus chose Peter, John and James for a special event for his miracle. We see when Jesus when Jesus restored the life of the daughter of Jairus, He allowed no one to enter with Him in the room of the child apart from Peter, James and John (Mk 5:37). We also see Jesus gave a private answer only to three of them about time of the foretelling destruction of the Temple (Mk 13:4-8). Another moment when Jesus took only the thee disciples with
Him was the time when He was praying in Agony in
Gethsemane, before his Passion (Mk 14:33-34). And the fourth moment when Jesus gave a special privilege to Peter alone was when he foretold his death and resurrection (Mk 8:31).
All this shows how important and great privilege was given to these three Apostles, Peter, James and John. But after all that, how is their reaction. Were they faithful to Jesus and his teaching after being given lots of privilege among the other Apostles? How was their reaction after all that?
We see first Peter denied Jesus three times during his passion (Mk 14:66-72). James abandoned Him and run away when Jesus was condemned. Only John remained faithful throughout up to the cross (Jn 19:25-27).
The same each one of us is privileged by God: we are baptized, become son and daughter of God, have received sacraments of the church, and many other benediction and gifts from God; do we acknowledge them and remain faithful to them? Are we going to remain with Jesus up to the end of our life and do his will or just abandon Him when hard and difficult things come? This is a good reflection to each one of us.