Transfiguration of Christ

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Second Sunday of Lent

The Transfiguration

We know little about the 7th century monk Anastasius of Sinai.   “Anastasius” is Greek for “Resurrection”.  Two Byzantine Emperors went by that name, as did four Popes, some Greek footballers, and a weightlifter.   None of them had the surname “of Sinai”, the mountain where Moses received God’s Law.   

Anastasius of Sinai says Jesus’ Transfiguration foretold his Resurrection.  Why?  To save the faith of Peter, James, and John, who would be in danger of losing it on Good Friday.  Let’s hear from Anastasius.

 

From a Sermon on the Transfiguration of the Lord

by Anastasius of Sinai



Upon Mount Tabor, Jesus revealed to his disciples a heavenly mystery. While living among them he had spoken of the kingdom and of his second coming in glory, but to banish from their hearts any possible doubt concerning the kingdom and to confirm their faith in what lay in the future by its prefiguration in the present, he gave them on Mount Tabor a wonderful vision of his glory, a foreshadowing of the kingdom of heaven. It was as if he said to them: “As time goes by you may be in danger of losing your faith. To save you from this I tell you now that some standing here listening to me will not taste death until they have seen the Son of Man coming in the glory of his Father.” Moreover, in order to assure us that Christ could command such power when he wished, the evangelist continues: Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter, James and John, and led them up a high mountain where they were alone. There, before their eyes, he was transfigured. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Then the disciples saw Moses and Elijah appear, and they were talking to Jesus… 

Let us run with confidence and joy to enter the cloud like Moses and Elijah, or like James and John. Let us be caught up like Peter to behold the divine vision and to be transfigured by that glorious transfiguration. Let us retire from the world, stand aloof from the earth, rise above the body, detach ourselves from creatures and turn to the creator, to whom Peter in ecstasy exclaimed: “Lord, it is good for us to be here…”

 

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