Saturday, 6 August 2022 : Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Church celebrates one of the great Feasts of the Lord, namely that of the Transfiguration of the Lord, commemorating the moment when Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, Saviour of the world was unveiled in all of His unbridled glory before three of His disciples at the top of Mount Tabor, as He revealed the truth about Himself before the three disciples, of Who He truly is, and what His mission in this world was all about. And through the Transfiguration, each and every one of us as Christians are also called to reflect on our own lives, and how we have each been called to be transformed through our faith as well, in our lives.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Daniel, the revelation of truth from the ancient prophet, as he received the heavenly vision of God seated on His Throne in Heaven. Not only that, but peculiarly, the vision included the vision of One of Great Age and one Son of Man, which prefigured the relationship between the Father and the Son in the Holy Trinity, as Daniel saw how the One of Great Age granted power, dominion and glory to the Son of Man, Whose kingdom and dominion will not end till the end of time and beyond. In essence, Daniel had seen Christ Himself, as a premonition of all the things that would come.

In our alternative first reading from the Epistle of St. Peter, we heard the account of the Transfiguration itself from St. Peter, which together with our Gospel passage today revealed to us what happened on that day at Mount Tabor. The Lord Jesus unveiled His hidden glory, power and majesty to His three disciples, St. Peter, St. James and St. John in order to show them a glimpse of the truth about Himself and His mission in this world. The Lord appeared to them in all of His glory, His raiments dazzling white and pure, while Moses and Elijah came to attend to Him, which in itself is a very symbolic occurrence.

For Moses and Elijah’s presence symbolised the Lord’s true nature and also His mission in this world, as Moses represented the Law of God and the commandments that He has spoken to him and passed through him to the Israelites, while Elijah represented all the prophets and messengers of God, through whom God had spoken many times, calling on all of them to repentance and to be reconciled to Him, as well as the prophecies they had delivered regarding the coming of a great Saviour, the Holy One of God Whom He had promised to all the people from the very beginning.

Therefore, Moses and Elijah represented how Christ came into this world, to be the manifestation of God’s Law and truth, His many prophecies and promises made to all of us mankind. He is the Son of Man that Daniel had seen in his heavenly vision, and He is also at the same time, the Divine Word Incarnate, the Son of God through Whom God had willed this world and all creation into being. He is truly the personification and perfect manifestation of the Law, through Whom God also made manifest His love for each and every one of us. Hence, the disciples who were there that day at Mount Tabor, saw the Lord Jesus as Who He truly was, not just merely a Man, but the Divine Son of God in the flesh.

That, brothers and sisters in Christ, is the first significance of Transfiguration of the Lord for all of us. Through that moment of Transfiguration, the world in darkness and sin have seen the great light of God, which was seen by the Apostles, who then passed on the testimony of that truth and revelation to all of us. Through the Transfiguration we realise that God Himself has come down to dwell among us, His Son in the flesh, revealed to us in all of His glory and majesty, and through Whom all of us receive the assurance of eternal life and salvation, if we have trust and faith in Him, and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour.

Then, the other significance of the Transfiguration of the Lord is, although more subtle, that the Lord is calling us to be ‘transfigured’ ourselves together with Him. Each and every one of us, the children of man had been made pure and perfect, blameless and spotless, meant for greatness and perfect joy with the Lord, as how God intended it all to be. Yet, by our sins and disobedience which brought about those sins, we and our ancestors from the beginning of time had sundered ourselves from that love and grace of God, all that should have been ours should we remain fully faithful to Him. Instead, we sought for worldly pleasures and joys rather than to trust in God.

That is why we have often ignored God’s love and compassion towards us. And that kept us defiled and corrupted, separated from the fullness of God’s love and grace. The Lord is calling on each and every one of us to follow Him and to be faithful to Him once again, breaking free from the chains of sin and evil that shackled us and kept us away from God. That will require each one of us to embrace God wholeheartedly and commit ourselves to a new life and existence in God, essentially transforming our lives from one that is sinful and worldly into lives that are worthy of God.

The Lord through His Transfiguration has shown us all what we mankind are called to be like, in our future state, to be good and perfect once again, and rid from the sins and wickedness that have once corrupted and enslaved us. The Lord has called on us to aspire to this state of life, free from the burdens of our past sins, but we do need to seek the Lord and allow Him to transform our lives, allowing Him to touch our hearts and minds and guiding us down the right path so that we may find our way to His loving presence and return to His embrace. Each one of us as Christians have been called to embrace the Transfiguration of Our Lord in anticipation of our own.

But that also requires us to embark on a journey of faith through life, which more often than not may lead us through challenges and trials, sufferings and persecutions. All those challenges may be difficult for us to endure, and we may be tempted to give up the struggle and return to our comfort zone. That was exactly what the Lord also showed us at the moment of His Transfiguration, that while He revealed the upcoming glory of His true nature, of the glory of our everlasting life with Him, but in order to achieve that, He had to go through intense sufferings and pains, as He went down Mount Tabor and told His disciples to follow Him, reinforced by the Father’s own words calling on them to obey the Son.

He went down the mountain and from there onwards, He would go on to His Passion, suffering and death on the Cross before He rose in glory at His Resurrection, and proved that all that He had revealed and foretold at His Transfiguration were all true. Are we willing and able to make the commitment to follow the Lord too, brothers and sisters in Christ, and even to suffer for His sake? Let us all commit ourselves to follow the path of our Transfigured Lord, Who has revealed before us the sure path to His salvation and grace. Let us all turn towards Him with hope and dedication, and do whatever we can to glorify Him by our lives, now and always, forevermore. Amen.