Saturday, 6 August 2016 : Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate one of the great feast days of the Church, celebrating the moment when our Lord Jesus Christ was transformed in His glory and majesty, revealing for the first time to the whole world, the whole truth about His existence and nature, Who He was, and what it is that He was going to do in the world, His mission and intentions.

This moment is known to us as the Transfiguration of our Lord, when our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born through the Virgin Mary, having assumed the flesh and form of Man, revealed Himself and allowed that divinity to shine forth through, and showed His disciples Who He really is, as not just a mere Man or Prophet, but as God Himself, the Divine Word Incarnate.

And there are truly many symbolisms in what we heard in the readings from the Holy Scriptures today. In the first reading, we heard from the prophet Daniel, who recorded what he saw in a great vision of heaven, where God showed Him the glory of Heaven, and then Himself, the One of Great Age, and His Son, the Son of Man, Who would come to take His place in the world, as the Father has granted Him the dominion over the whole world.

Indeed, He came into the world, as the fulfilment of God’s long promised salvation of the world and all of His beloved people. He has promised that He would send His Saviour to gather all of His beloved ones from the places where they had been lost in, gathering them all from all the four corners of the world, from the dark places and bring them into the light.

In the Gospel, we heard how Jesus showed Himself in His full glory and majesty atop the mount Tabor to three of His disciples, St. Peter, St. James and St. John. Mount Tabor was one of the holy mountains on which important events in the history of salvation had taken place, and thus the significance of such an event happening at Mount Tabor is also linked to how Moses in the Book of Exodus had ascended up the other holy mountain Horeb, meeting up with God and receiving the Law of God from God Himself.

And there, up that mount Tabor, again as I have mentioned, Jesus showed His divinity, by being transfigured into a Being so pure and great, that no pureness can match the dazzling white garment He is wearing. This is the first important thing we have to take note in this Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord, that we believe and worship the Lord Who in His nature is both God and Human at the same time.

And He came forth into the world in order to fulfil what the Law and the Prophets had said about Him, to fulfil completely and perfectly the Law and the Covenant which God had brought upon His people, and to fulfil the promises and guarantees of salvation preached through His faithful prophets and servants. And that was why we saw Moses and Elijah, each of whom represented the Law, that is Moses, and the Prophets, that is Elijah.

That is the second thing which we ought to take note of, that God has endeavoured to fulfil His promise to us, and He is ever faithful to His covenant, which He has established with us all, for our sake and our benefit. But are we also faithful? If we look at how we mankind acted towards the covenant we have with our Lord, we should realise just how unfaithful we are to His covenant, preferring to walk on our own ways and disobeying His rules and laws.

But last of all, what we need to heed from the readings today is the most important of all, as it is telling us what we as Christians and as members of the Church need to do from now on. After Jesus had revealed His glory, His disciples wanted to stay on there in that moment of bliss and they did not want to leave all that for the world below.

Yet, that was exactly what Jesus did, and the Father reminded His disciples to follow the way which His Son followed. He left the glory behind and walked down the mountain, determined to go on to Jerusalem, even though He fully knew that the Pharisees and the elders in Jerusalem were plotting to bring about His death. And that was that act of courage and commitment to His cause which eventually led to the great saving work of our Lord, as He went up the hill of Calvary bearing His cross and eventually was crucified and died for our sake.

In the same manner, let us all ask ourselves, are we all too comfortable in our own respective comfort zones? Are we too caught up in our comfort and in all the happy and pleasurable things we have in life that we may have forgotten our true purpose in life? Such is the danger that all of us are facing, that Satan and his allies may just tempt us and persuade us to remain aloof and indifferent amidst the challenges and the mission which we have been entrusted with by the Lord?

And what is that, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is just as Jesus Himself had said, that we ought to take up our crosses, leave behind all the fetters of worldliness, and follow Him as He walked through the way of the cross. And that means, as Christians, we should not be satisfied with just the status quo, and neither can we sit back and enjoy, while in reality there are still so many things that we can do.

Let us ponder on this matter and reflect deep in our hearts. Let us all not be hesitant any longer, but from now on embrace our roles as Christians with zeal and vigour, that in all the things we do from now on, we may bring greater glory to God, proclaiming Him through our deeds and actions, that more and more people may come to His salvation and receive the gift of eternal life.

And thus, at the end of it all, we may enter into the glory of heaven promised to us all, which glimpse we saw at the Transfiguration itself. Let us all be thoroughly transfigured with our Lord Jesus Christ, and be glorious and be worthy of God’s grace. Amen.

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