I think we’ve all had teachers we weren’t sure which side they were on. There is a deduction that Professor Moriarty tried to teach calculus to the young Sherlock Holmes, but perhaps the greatest questionable was Professor Severus Snape of the Harry Potter series. Harry and his friends all though he was evil, on the side of Voldemort, however there were clues through the series that this wasn’t so. Dumbledore always trusted Snape, which nobody understood at all. Yet at the end of the series, when Snape died, they found out where he really stood: he was on the side of good after all, and he had their back after all.
Jesus disciples didn’t think he belonged to the dark side, but they really didn’t understand him. Sure, they had traveled with him, heard his preaching, saw the miraculous cures, and today Peter, James, and John go with Jesus up a mountain where they see something amazing: Jesus in dazzling white. Moses and Elijah appear, representing the Law and the Prophets, providing connection with Jewish belief and practice. Peter does what almost anybody would do: he suggests they put up tents and stay a while. It was a glorious place, a glorious moment. Then comes the cloud and the voice, and suddenly, everything is normal again. Jesus leads them down the mountain and confuses them again: what does rising from the dead mean? It’s only after Jesus’ stay on earth is over than this day and every other day makes sense. Takes a while for the disciples to work it out, but they stay with it and they do.
We come to a holy mountain every week, and we see Jesus. Jesus becomes part of us, which is something I find a little scary at times. During Lent, we try to follow the light even though we may not understand completely where we’re going. Like Peter, James, and John, we hear the voice saying: “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” It is only through hearing Christ’s voice do we find our transfiguration, where we find our true identity as God made us, where we find the path we should go. Lent is a time we seek that light the Disciples saw on the mountaintop. Lent is the time we walk with Jesus to Jerusalem, through death to life, and when we can make this journey together, everything will make sense.