Matthew’s Gospel takes a very decisive turn here, and it’s no accident that this reading is used in church right before Lent begins. Jesus has begun his final journal towards Jerusalem, where the events of his betrayal, death and resurrection will happen. This may have made Peter, James and John appreciate who Jesus is more fully.
These disciples had an experience that gave rise to talk of people have “mountaintop” religious experiences. Not everyone will have one of these, and those who do must avoid the pitfall of measuring their whole spiritual life against one of these experiences.
A spiritual website that I visited once made an important point about how it is really in the valleys that we grow. Jesus calls us to follow God’s will in our lives, just as these disciples did when they journeyed with him to Jerusalem. Like them, we may have very different expectations about what awaits.
The Lenten season is a good time to reflect on our journey with Jesus. Though our lives as Christians may not be perfect, we can be assured that the journey doesn’t end here, by any means. It only begins 🙂