6 August 2021

Happy feast of the Transfiguration of Christ.

The apostles saw Jesus in glory flanked by Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1–9; Mark 9:2–8; Luke 9:28–36)

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”  When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” - Matthew 17:1–9

There is an awful parallel between this scene and that of the Crucifixion:

o Jesus is revealed on a hill / Mount Tabor and Calvary.
o His clothes are noticeable / shining white and stripped off him.
o He is flanked by two people / Moses and Elijah and the two thieves.
o He is declared to be Son of God / by a heavenly voice and by a Roman centurion.

The Transfiguration is about a change in the disciples view of who he is. The whole truth will be seen after His death and Resurrection, and these privileged three now have a foretaste of what will happen, but it will only make sense later. 

Let us pray..

On the mountain you were transfigured, O Christ God,
And your disciples beheld your glory as far as they were able
So that when they would behold You crucified,
They would understand that Your suffering was voluntary,
And would proclaim to the world,
That You are truly the radiance of the Father.

(Kontakion of the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ) ; This painting depicts Elijah in the habit of the Order of Carmelites. It is by Gerard David, and is in Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in Bruges, Belgium.