Disciples, Apostles, and Saints!
In this week’s gospel, Jesus takes three of his disciples up a mountain with him. Who knows what he told them would happen there, but there is little doubt that they thought they were getting special time with their master.
This time away with him is special. The miraculous events are special. And in the end, not only are they going to experience it alone, but they are told to not talk about it—until he’s gone.
How much do you want to bet that getting this special time with Jesus made these three disciples feel special?
Of course, tradition has ensured that we actually do treat these three as special. Peter gets the keys and James and John assume proximity. In the later years, all three would remain distinguished by tradition.
However, there is a huge difference between assuming a special place in the group and in feeling special. Pride, for one. But more importantly, one creates a comparison with others and the other a comparison with one’s self.
Acting like we’re special is problematic. Precisely because of how such a vision encourages us to treat other people: as below us. Feeling special—like we have something to contribute—doesn’t negate the specialness of others. It affords the opportunity for all of us to be special. Because, in God’s eyes, we are.