Monday, August 06, 2007

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.
And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance as altered, and his clothing became dazzling white.
And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Elijah,
who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.
-- Lk 9:28-31
This is perhaps one of my favorite feasts of the liturgical year - I don't quite know why. Perhaps it has something to do with the way it shows forth in such a direct way how God, and Heaven along with Him, broke through into our world in the Person of the Son. It is an event which offers no opportunity for misunderstanding or misrepresentation - it is what it is, He did what He did. It also allows us to remember, despite what some of our more rascally modern "scholars" might have us believe, that Jesus never for a second ceased being God and knowing what He was doing even as He allowed the Plan of All Ages to play out.

When I read the above, which is the beginning of the Gospel reading for this Feast, I almost feel as if I can see what is going on. That, for me, is a reminder that we have been granted a glimpse of what awaits us.
Let us run with confidence and joy to enter into the cloud like Moses and Elijah, or like James and John. Let us be caught up like Peter to behold the divine vision and to be transfigured by that glorious transfiguration. Let us retire from the world, stand aloof from the earth, rise above the body, detach ourselves from creatures and turn to the Creator, to whom Peter in ecstasy exclaimed: Lord, it is good for us to be here. -- Sermon on the Transfiguration by Anastasius of Sinai, Bishop (Office of Readings for the Feast of the Transfiguration)