A blessed and grace-filled feast of the Transfiguration to all our readers, where Christ allowed the Apostles – Peter, James and John – to ‘see His glory’, His true nature as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. We should recall that Christ was not a human person, but a divine one, uniting Himself to a true and full human nature. Hence, the union between His two natures – human and divine – took place in this divine Person, or, in Greek, hypostasis, which is why our Tradition calls the Incarnation the ‘Hypostatic Union’.
We too will see Christ in His glory at the end of time, in His Second Advent, ‘on clouds descending’, to bring all creation to its fullness and perfection. This feast is given us as a glimpse of that future glory, to sustain us on this pilgrimage, where that glory is hidden amidst the obscuring evil of this passing world.
As Pope Saint John Paul put it on the eve of the millennium on this feast:
Today, the Eucharist which we are preparing to celebrate takes us in spirit to Mount Tabor together with the Apostles Peter, James and John, to admire in rapture the splendour of the transfigured Lord. In the event of the Transfiguration we contemplate the mysterious encounter between history, which is being built every day, and the blessed inheritance that awaits us in heaven in full union with Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
We, pilgrims on earth, are granted to rejoice in the company of the transfigured Lord when we immerse ourselves in the things of above through prayer and the celebration of the divine mysteries. But, like the disciples, we too must descend from Tabor into daily life where human events challenge our faith. On the mountain we saw; on the paths of life we are asked tirelessly to proclaim the Gospel which illuminates the steps of believers.
With Christ and the Apostles, we must trod the way of the cross, until we reach the ‘Tabor’ of heaven, glorified with Christ, in eternal beatitude, in saecula saeculorum. Not a bad deal, that!
For what’s the worst the world can do, except hurry us along the pilgrimage?