Transfiguration: Bask in the Brightness

August 6th

TransfigurationDuring each 'Liturgical Year' the last feast of Our Lord we celebrate is that of His Transfiguration, a feast of great beauty and richness. (Mt 16: 1-8., Mk 9: 2-8., Lk 9: 28-36.) This feast is a source of endless writing and meditation, and is best approached in a spirit of prayer, and profound awe. Among many topics we might consider, we can reflect on this as a feast incarnation; the wonder of Jesus, true God and true man.

We see Him as God, wonderfully "wrapped in light as in a robe". The event on the mountain of Tabor is a window into the divinity of Jesus Christ, surrounded with the glory, intensely white. No earthly fuller could produce such brilliance. Jesus is God, and in His presence we worship in silence. Once before, Moses and Elias worshipped God on the mount, and in silence fell on their faces before God. Here, now however, they are speaking with Jesus. "...and they were talking with Jesus".

What were they discussing, what were they speaking about? Scripture is silent, but we may wonder. Perhaps were they speaking about the coming passion of Christ, the suffering, the trial, the cross, and the tomb? The Church celebrates the transfiguration 40 days before the feast of the Cross, as if to show the inherent link between the feasts of the glory, and the cross. If Jesus, Moses, and Elias were speaking about the coming passion, perhaps Christ is also showing something of his human nature, even as he reveals his divine nature? For a man lives in relation with others, and he has a need to put into words the events and mysteries of the past, the present, and the future. Before any important moment, do not we turn to our spouse, our family, and our friends and together seek to understand the presence of God and his will? In this way, perhaps Moses and Elias ministered unto Christ? Each had spoken to God intimately and with boldness before. Is it surprising that Christ would call upon them now as 'friends of God', friends of His, to speak of the coming Passover? The Lord acts naturally as a man, and humbly converses with his friends about the coming trial, even as his divinity is wondrously revealed to the disciples.

The union of Christ's humanity and divinity is complete and full, and as we meditate upon the feasts of the Lord's life we always benefit by focusing on this wonderfully unity in his person. Let us, as disciples might, bask in the brightness of this mystery, begging our Savior God to reveal Himself more fully to us. For what we see is beautiful and alluring. The tropar proclaims that Christ reveals His glory to his disciples. But the glory is not the divinity, nor is it the humanity, both are glorious in Him! Let the light shine upon us sinners (for the glory of humanity is marred in us by sin), that enlightened and purified through this feast, we too may shine through His generous gift of mercy.

Written by a monk of the Byzantine Catholic Church.

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Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Scripture

August 5, 2018
Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: John 21:15-25 (Gospel 11)
- Liturgy: 1 Corinthians 9:2-12, Matthew 18:23-35

August 6, 2018
Transfiguration of Our Lord
- Vespers: Exodus 24:12-18, Exodus 33:11-23; 34:4-6, 8, 1 Kings 19:3-9,11-13, 15,16
- Matins: Luke 9:28-36
- Liturgy: 2 Peter 1:10-19, Matthew 17:1-9

Twelfth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: 2 Corinthians 5:10-15, Mark 1:9-15
- Tuesday: 2 Corinthians 5:15-21, Mark 1:16-22
- Wednesday: 2 Corinthians 6:11-16, Mark 1:23-28
- Thursday: 2 Corinthians 7:1-10, Mark 1:29-35
- Friday: 2 Corinthians 7:10-16, Mark 2:18-22
- Saturday: 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, Matthew 20:29-34

August 12, 2018
Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Matthew 28:16-20 (Gospel 1)
- Liturgy: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Matthew 19:16-26

Thirteenth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 3:6-12
- Tuesday: 2 Corinthians 8:16-9:5, Mark 3:13-19
- Wednesday: 2 Corinthians 9:12-10:7, Mark 3:20-27
- Thursday: 2 Corinthians 10:7-18, Mark: 3:28-35
- Friday: 2 Corinthians 11:5-12, Mark 4:1-9
- Saturday: 1 Corinthians 2:6-9, Matthew 22:15-22

August 19, 2018
Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Mark 16:1-8 (Gospel 2)
- Liturgy: 1 Corinthians 16:13-24, Matthew 21:33-42

Feasts & Fasts

July
1 - Canada Day (Canada)
4 - Independence Day (USA)
15 - Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils
20 - Holy, Glorious Prophet Elias

August
1-14 - Dormiton Fast
6 - Transfiguation of Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ
15 - Dormition of the Mother of God

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * showing Your glory to Your Disciples as far as they were able to bear it. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light shine also upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 7)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Upon the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, * and Your Disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could receive it, * so that when they would see You crucified, * they would understand that You suffered willingly; * and they would preach to the world * that You are truly the radiance of the Father. (Kontakion, Tone 7)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

St. John Chrysostom