Did you witness the glory of God on the mountain?
Happy feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord!
While we in the Christian West recall the event of Christ’s brief unveiling of his divine nature to the disciples Peter, James, and John on, possibly, Mt. Tabor (http://www.bibleplaces.com/mounttabor.htm), the Christian East (http://byzcath.org/) celebrates this feast as one of the 12 major events in Christ’s life. The Feast has its roots in the Jewish Pilgrimage Feast of Booths/Tabernacles, called Sukkot.
There are four accounts of Jesus’ Transfiguration in the New Testament. Three are in the Synoptic Gospels (Mk. 9:2–13; Mt 17:1–13; Lk 9:28–36) and one in the Second Letter of Peter (2 Pt 1:16-19). The other mention of the Feast of Tabernacles is in St. John’s Gospel (ch. 7), although the details of the Transfiguration are not recounted there.
Pope St. John Paul II realized that Roman Catholics, especially in contrast to Greek Catholics and other Eastern Catholics, needed a fuller understanding of the life of Christ in our daily devotion of the Most Holy Rosary. Thus, he proposed the Mysteries of Light. Out of these five Mysteries (1. The Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan, 2. the First Sign at the Wedding Feast of Cana, 3. the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, 4. the Transfiguration of the Lord, and 5. the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper), the ONE mystery of light is the Transfiguration. So, if we really want to understand the entire Luminous Mysteries, then we should really meditate upon the Transfiguration.
The Transfiguration is a definitive witness to the divinity of Christ. It is the Feast of God actually dwelling among us in the man, Jesus Christ. God does not remain outside of our human experience. In this man, in God’s Son, every one of us is made a new creation, by Baptism, and is offered a participation in the divine nature by the grace of the Holy Spirit. If this news is Good and if this grace is True, then our lives must be Beautiful according to the standard of the One, Undivided Trinity.
- Dr Mark