Saturday, 6 August 2011

The Transfiguration of Christ

File:Transfiguration Raphael.jpg 

The feast of the Transfiguration of Christ is a major festival.  In Christian teachings, the Transfiguration is a pivotal moment, and the setting on the mountain is presented as the point where human nature meets God: the meeting place for the temporal and the eternal, with Jesus himself as the connecting point, acting as the bridge between heaven and earth. "What does it mean to say: He was transfigured?" asks St John Chrysostom. He says: "It revealed something of His Divinity to them, as much and insofar as they were able to apprehend it, and it showed the indwelling of God within Him." 
The mysterious combination of the two perfect natures, divine and human, within the Person of Christ, (Hypostasis as we learnt to call under the late great James Torrance at Aberdeen Uni). is "without mingling, without change, without division, without separation."  (The Chalcedonian definition, still the official doctrinal position of nearly every mainstream Christian Church).

Why did Christ choose three Apostles and lead them up onto the Mount with Him? To show them something great and mysterious. As we consider the Mystery of the Transfiguration  we need to seek to be illuminated by the Light of the Divine ourselves and to nourish within us a deeper  search for the Unfading Glory and Beauty of God,    We pray today for a deeper knowledge of the everlasting Light of Christ transfigured  in His Glory, and of the Father from all eternity, and the Life-Creating Spirit, Who are One Radiance, One Godhead, and Glory, and Kingdom, and Power now and forever.

These words of the current Pope in Lent 2006  may be helpful:

When one has the grace to live a strong experience of God, it is as if one is living an experience similar to that of the disciples during the Transfiguration:  a momentary foretaste of what will constitute the happiness of Paradise. These are usually brief experiences that are sometimes granted by God, especially prior to difficult trials.  No one, however, is permitted to live "on Tabor" while on earth. Indeed, human existence is a journey of faith and as such, moves ahead more in shadows than in full light, and is no stranger to moments of obscurity and also of complete darkness. While we are on this earth, our relationship with God takes place more by listening than by seeing; and the same contemplation comes about, so to speak, with closed eyes, thanks to the interior light that is kindled in us by the Word of God.
The Virgin Mary herself, among all human creatures the closest to God, still had to walk day after day in a pilgrimage of faith, constantly guarding and meditating on in her heart the Word that God addressed to her through Holy Scripture and through the events of the life of her Son, in whom she recognized and welcomed the Lord's mysterious voice. 

Our vision will only be clear momentarily as we journey towards the radiant glory of God here on earth. Let us each walk onwards towards that life strong in faith, hope and trust - for the Way of Christ is one of faith rather than certainty.  And in God we trust.

1 comment:

  1. Im still in search for a better understanding. I always look forward in learning more.