Feast of the Transfiguration
The event of the Transfiguration of Jesus is clearly recorded in the New Testament in the Synoptic Gospels (Matt 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36), and in Second Epistle of St Peter (2 Pet 1:16-18). The Gospel of John is likely to be alluding to it in the famous line about the Incarnation of Christ: “The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that He has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth”. Presumably, the idea of the glory of God is captured in the transfiguration as: ‘…His face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as the light”.
The event was seen as the revelation of Christ’s Divinity – after all, his followers have only seen his humanity at this point in time. Some saw this as a reassurance Peter, James and John needed after hearing the shocking news of Jesus’ impending death. The appearance of Moses and Elijah, who represented the Law and the Prophets, tell us that the Old Order of the Law and Prophets must give way to the New Way: “This is my Son, the Beloved; He enjoys my favour. Listen to Him!”
I think the last line of the Nicene Creed captures the Transfiguration, not of Jesus, but the glory awaiting each one of us on the Last Day: “I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come”.
May Jesus’ Transfiguration be our Transfiguration on the Last Day.
God bless, Fr Michael