📷 Przemienienie, Rafael, zbiory Muzeum Watykańskiego

August 6th – Feast of the Transfiguration

“In the Transfiguration we not only contemplate the mystery of God, passing from light to light (cf. Ps 36: 10), but we are also invited to listen to the divine word that is addressed to us. Above the word of the Law in Moses and of the prophecy in Elijah, the voice of the Father can be heard referring to the voice of the Son, as I have just mentioned. In presenting his “beloved Son”, the Father adds the invitation to listen to him (cf. Mk 9: 7).

In commenting on the Transfiguration scene, the Second Letter of Peter emphasizes the divine voice. Jesus Christ “received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to him by the majestic glory:  “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’; we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And, we have the stronger, prophetic word. You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pt 1: 17-19).

Seeing and hearing, contemplating and obeying are therefore the ways that lead us to the holy mountain on which the Trinity is revealed in the glory of the Son. “The Transfiguration gives us a foretaste of Christ’s glorious coming, when he “will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body’ (Phil 3: 21). But it also recalls that “it is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God’ (Acts 14: 22)”

The liturgy of the Transfiguration, as the spirituality of the Eastern Church suggests, presents a human “triad” in the three Apostles Peter, James and John, who contemplate the divine Trinity. Like the three young men in the fiery furnace of the Book of Daniel (3: 51: 90), the liturgy “blesses God, the Father and Creator, praises the Word who comes down to help them and changes the fire into dew, and exalts the Holy Spirit who gives life to all for ever” (Matins of the Feast of the Transfiguration).

Let us now pray to Christ transfigured in the words of the Canon of St John Damascene:  “You have allured me with desire for you, O Christ, and have transformed me with your divine love. Burn away my sins with your spiritual fire and deign to fill me with your sweetness, so that leaping with joy I may exalt all your manifestations”.” St. John Paul II