Transfiguration: Bask in the Brightness

August 6th

TransfigurationDuring each 'Liturgical Year' the last feast of Our Lord we celebrate is that of His Transfiguration, a feast of great beauty and richness. (Mt 16: 1-8., Mk 9: 2-8., Lk 9: 28-36.) This feast is a source of endless writing and meditation, and is best approached in a spirit of prayer, and profound awe. Among many topics we might consider, we can reflect on this as a feast incarnation; the wonder of Jesus, true God and true man.

We see Him as God, wonderfully "wrapped in light as in a robe". The event on the mountain of Tabor is a window into the divinity of Jesus Christ, surrounded with the glory, intensely white. No earthly fuller could produce such brilliance. Jesus is God, and in His presence we worship in silence. Once before, Moses and Elias worshipped God on the mount, and in silence fell on their faces before God. Here, now however, they are speaking with Jesus. "...and they were talking with Jesus".

What were they discussing, what were they speaking about? Scripture is silent, but we may wonder. Perhaps were they speaking about the coming passion of Christ, the suffering, the trial, the cross, and the tomb? The Church celebrates the transfiguration 40 days before the feast of the Cross, as if to show the inherent link between the feasts of the glory, and the cross. If Jesus, Moses, and Elias were speaking about the coming passion, perhaps Christ is also showing something of his human nature, even as he reveals his divine nature? For a man lives in relation with others, and he has a need to put into words the events and mysteries of the past, the present, and the future. Before any important moment, do not we turn to our spouse, our family, and our friends and together seek to understand the presence of God and his will? In this way, perhaps Moses and Elias ministered unto Christ? Each had spoken to God intimately and with boldness before. Is it surprising that Christ would call upon them now as 'friends of God', friends of His, to speak of the coming Passover? The Lord acts naturally as a man, and humbly converses with his friends about the coming trial, even as his divinity is wondrously revealed to the disciples.

The union of Christ's humanity and divinity is complete and full, and as we meditate upon the feasts of the Lord's life we always benefit by focusing on this wonderfully unity in his person. Let us, as disciples might, bask in the brightness of this mystery, begging our Savior God to reveal Himself more fully to us. For what we see is beautiful and alluring. The tropar proclaims that Christ reveals His glory to his disciples. But the glory is not the divinity, nor is it the humanity, both are glorious in Him! Let the light shine upon us sinners (for the glory of humanity is marred in us by sin), that enlightened and purified through this feast, we too may shine through His generous gift of mercy.

Written by a monk of the Byzantine Catholic Church.

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Teachings of Christ

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

Scripture

November 11, 2018
Twenty-Fifth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Mark 16:9-20 (Gospel 3)
- Liturgy: Ephesians 4:1-6, Luke 10:25-37

Twenty-Sixth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: 1 Timothy 1:1-7, Luke 14:12-15
- Tuesday: 1 Timothy 1:8-14, Luke 14:25-35
- Wednesday: 1 Timothy 1:18-20; 2:8-15, Luke 15:1-10
- Thursday: 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Luke 16:1-9
- Friday: 1 Timothy 4:4-8, 16, Luke 16:15-18, 17:1-4
- Saturday: Galatians 3:8-12, Luke 9:57-62

November 18,2018
Twenty-Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Luke 24:1-12 (Gospel 4)
- Liturgy: Ephesians 5:9-19, Luke 12:16-21

Twenty-Seventh Week After Pentecost
- Monday: 1 Timothy 5:1-10, Luke 17:20-25
- Tuesday: 1 Timothy 5:11-21, Luke 17:26-37 (& 18:8)

November 21, 2018
The Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple
- Vespers: Exodus 40:1-5, 9, 10, 16, 34, 35, 1 Kings 7:51; 8:1, 3-7, 9-11, Ezekiel 43:27-44:4
- Matins: Luke 1:39-49,56
- Liturgy: Hebrews 9:1-7, Luke 10:38-42; 11:27,28

- Wednesday: 1 Timothy 5:22-6:11, Luke 18:15-17, 26-30

November 22, 2018
Thanksgiving Day USA
- Liturgy: 1 Corinthins 1:3-9, Luke 17:11-19

- Thursday: 1 Timothy 6:17-21, Luke 18:31-34
- Friday: 2 Timothy 1:1,2,8-18, Luke 19:12-28
- Saturday: Galatians 5:22-6:2, Luke 10:19-21

November 25, 2018
Twenty-Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Luke 24:12-35 (Gospel 5)
- Liturgy: Ephesians 6:10-17, Luke 13:10-17 (Slavs), Luke 18:18-27 (Greeks)

Feasts & Fasts

November
8 - Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers
11 - Veterans' Day (USA), Remembrance Day (Canada)
15 - Nativity Fast (Philip's Fast also known as Advent)
21 - The Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple
22 - Thanksgiving Day (USA)

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our holy fathers have renounced all other spiritual work and concentrated wholly on this one doing, that is, on guarding the heart, convinced that, through this practice, they would easily attain every other virtue, whereas without it not a single virtue can be firmly established.

St. Symeon the New Theologian