Most of the time when we read this Gospel passage we relate to how gob-smacked Peter, James and John were in the presence of Moses and Elijah.
I contend that it is equally likely that Moses and Elijah were awe struck to meet Peter, James and John, even though the Gospel passage doesn’t say that they did anything more than look at these three and speak to Jesus.
When we ourselves get through the pearly gates, who are we going to make a beeline to meet first? It is going to be Peter, James and John, or is it going to be Moses and Elijah? My guess is that Peter makes everyone’s ‘top 5 Saints we want to meet in heaven’, after Mary, Joseph and possibly our name saints and patron saints.
What did they have in common? Moses and Elijah were best friends with God. Peter, James and John are best friends with Jesus. This is Jesus introducing some of His best friends to each other.
What distinguishes a best friend from a regular friend? To a best friend you entrust the most private musings of your heart. To a best friend you entrust your deepest secrets. With a best friend you want to share the most pivotal moments of your life.
To become worthy of such a relationship the price is usually passing through lots of trials and tribulations and remaining faithful.
Sharing and keeping secrets are both the mark and the test of close friendship.
The healed leper we met a few weeks ago failed that test and opportunity. He blabbed everywhere. But Peter, James and John passed this test and faithfully kept the secret of this wondrous event until the appointed time. That’s impressive. It really is. It shows the depth of their friendship.
When we look at the lives of St Bernadette, St Catherine Laboure, and the three seers of Fatima we remember that God entrusted them with momentous secrets too, which they faithfully kept at great personal cost. There is therefore enough evidence to suggest that secrets are part of God’s standard operating procedure for those worthy to be called His friends.
When we recall this amazing moment in salvation history like Peter, James and John we are invited into deeper levels of friendship with God.
May we always be given the grace to say Yes to this invitation, and may we always be given the grace to recognise the secrets God entrusts to us and to be proved worthy of that trust. Amen.