Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate a great feast of the Church, where we celebrate the great event on the mountain on that day, when Jesus was glorified and revealed the fullness of truth about Himself to the three of His Apostles, Peter, James and John. This is the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, when Jesus revealed His divinity to His people for the first time.
On this feast, there are several things we all ought to take note of. First of all, the symbolism shown in this event of the Transfiguration truly revealed to us the great truth about Jesus our Lord, who He is, what His mission was, and what He would do in order to achieve that mission. Then we should indeed begin to understand them one by one.
On that mountain, Jesus was transfigured, and two figures from the Old Testament came, appeared and spoke to Him. They were Moses and Elijah, the greatest of God’s servants, and who symbolised the works which Jesus was to accomplish in this world as part of His messianic ministry. Moses represented the Law which God had revealed to the people through Him, while Elijah represented the Prophets through whom God had made His will known to the people.
This represented the role of Jesus who came to fulfil and complete the Law in its perfection, and He would reveal to all mankind the true meaning and purpose of the Law which God had revealed to them, but which they had often misunderstood in the practice and in its purpose. And then, Jesus also was a Prophet, the One who made clear God’s words and intentions to men. It was through His words, His teachings and parables that He called upon many people to return to the Lord.
In Jesus the role of Priest, Prophet and King was united as one, for He is indeed the High Priest of all, by His role in delivering all of us through the sacrifice which He had offered for the sake of our sins and unworthiness, that is His own Body and Blood which He offered up from the Altar of Calvary from the cross. And as Prophet, He revealed to us all the truth about God, and taught us the Law.
And we know that He is King of all kings, and Lord of all lords, and the Good Shepherd of us all, who leads us from the darkness of this world, gathered from all over the world, once scattered now brought together as one people into the unity of His Church, that He may bring us to the salvation which He has promised those who are faithful to Him.
In this we see how the Transfiguration of our Lord had revealed to the disciples, and also to all of us, who Jesus is, that is none other than God Himself, who had been willing to descend upon us and assume our humble human form, to be born in the flesh, and to later suffer for our sake, bearing our sins and punishments for those sins as He made His way to Calvary and as He hung between the heavens and the earth on the cross. He died for us, so that we all may live.
But in this, we also should realise that the Transfiguration itself also revealed to us, what we are to become, when we remain faithful to the end, and at the end, receive the just reward for our faith and devotion from the Lord. Just as Jesus revealed His true self to His disciples, then all of us should also reveal who we truly are to one another, and discard all the falsehoods and the lies with which we have covered ourselves and hid our true selves with thus far.
Why is this so, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because God had created all of us good and perfect, just as He is good and perfect. But it was because of sin and disobedience which since the days of the first mankind had entered into our hearts and beings, we have been made imperfect and tainted, and our true selves had been hidden under layers of guilt, disobedience, and all other sorts of wickedness that prevent our true selves from being revealed.
For we are the children of God, who is Love, who is Light and goodness. If we are therefore His children, then certainly all of us should have imitated Him in how we behave and act in this life. It was our sins and our disobedience, and our human weaknesses and tendencies to sin that have made us such beings that had strayed far away from where we were and what we were intended to be.
Therefore, on this day, we have to heed what the Lord had shown us, and we all have to also listen to the Lord’s word, that we indeed have to listen to Jesus, the Word of God, through whom God made clear all of His will and desire for us. What then He had said to His Apostles Peter, Janes and John should be a good lesson for all of us.
For the Apostles must have been so awed and mesmerised by the glory and the greatness, and the great joy that they ought to have felt to be in the presence of God on that mountain. And they wanted to make three tents for Jesus, Moses and Elijah, so that they could stay there and not to leave that state of joy. But Jesus reminded them that, in order for them to move on, they must also at one point go down the mountain and face the challenges of the world.
Jesus Himself, even though He was glorified and honoured in today’s commemoration of the Transfiguration, but He knew that He had to forgo all of the glory and even empty Himself, descending down the mountain of glory, to come towards the ultimate test and challenge He would face, that is to be rejected and humiliated by the very people whom He had been sent to, to be saved.
In the same way therefore, all of us should shake ourselves from our comfort zones, that we may be able to realise that we have been too long and too deep in our slumber, where our true selves of love and righteousness had been buried deep within the layers of our laziness, our indifference, our apathy and our inability to see the opportunity for us to rise up and to give glory to God through our actions.
May our Transfigured Lord, our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all from now on, that in all things that we do, we may also do things to aspire for that same goal, that our old selves and the veils of our own sinfulness and evils may be replaced by the true beauty of our inner selves, the beauty of the love and faith which our Lord had given us by His Spirit. God be with us all. Amen.