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The Fourth Mystery of Light - The Transfiguration

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Transfiguration of the LordThe transfiguration of Christ is one of those moments in the gospel that is awesome, and yet elusive. In the gospel of St Matthew, chapter 17, the transfiguration is set six days after Jesus tells his hearers that following him involves the cross, the daily embracing of the cross. These are difficult words, for even the most faithful follower, it seems perhaps a bit gloomy. Is this all that being a disciple of Jesus means, the cross? Well, six days later Jesus, accompanied by Peter, James and John, ascends a high mountain. There Jesus appears in a glorified state, shining like the sun. He is no longer merely a man, but his godhead is, for a moment, revealed. Yet this moment of glory does not go on, it stops. The apostles are, naturally, reluctant to leave, and after what they saw it’s understandable. Yet Jesus has to move on, to a journey that will lead to another high place eventually. At this high place the glory of Jesus will not be exposed, but hidden in his powerlessness, in his bruised body and in his blood. In this high place the Apostles will not wish to delay, in fact most will not be there at all. In this high place Jesus will hang on the cross and die a most cruel and humiliating death. Yet when Jesus dies at this high place, the glory seen by the disciples at the previous place will not disappear again. By dying here, the glory of Jesus seen by the apostles will be fully realised, and will never fade away again.

David Barrins OP


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