The Preach of The Lord’s Transfiguration [Mat. 17, 1- 9]
Dear brothers and sisters into the Lord,
In this holy day we celebrate itself that what will be the humanity in eternity. And what will be the man with God, forever, in all eternity? The man is destinated to be a holy man, a transfigurated man, a man in integrum full of the havenly glory. And why is it? Because Lord „was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light”[KJV, Mat. 17, 2].
In the mountain, in the „high mountain” [Idem, Mat. 17, 1] of the Tabor, the humanity of our Lord transfigurated before of this Apostles and they see how it looks eternal glory of God and shows how truly holy man. They had to know and understand that He is God and man. For this holy revelation of His, Lord prepared them long before. Their ascension to the mountain was an inner exercise of cleasness of hearts and a filling of the power to see Him.
The sight of God is not a human ability. For this revelation of the glory of God the man must come with all the heart to God. But the man dosen’t see God because is only ascetic man, because in order to get the man of God being raised by God. Only God can give us to see glory. And here we see it, Tabor, or what happened to St. Paul to Damascus.
St. Apostles were prepared to see Him as He is. In the Troparyon of this festival it is specificated, that St. Apostle „saw His glory as they could”. They did not see all the glory of Christ, but only as they could. From this reason, and in the Holy Icons of the day, the glory of God is pictured in the dark coloures, this means that God is not only imanent but also transcendent in His revelation to us.
If we try to perception only transcendent God, we no longer have any real connection with Him, because He lives as far from us. And if we believe that He is only on earth and we must not make any effort to see the glory, then we close God in His imanent, in history, having a God who has no secret, nor an unknown.
But can existing an orthodox faith in that God is not known in every one? Or maybe there is Orthodox faith in which God to remain outside the relationship with us? In this celebration we know that the man may know God, but not believe that we know absolutely Him, fully. God is the biggest unknown to us is made known to us so far. And we, everybody from us, can know God in our lives, He, without thereby complete ever knowing Him.
For an orthodox knowledge is relational reality,because the knowledge is in relation and for relation with God. Only in relationship with God we can know who He is, as only loving someone you know, you understand him. And for mountain, in relation with God, St. Apostles see how He is filled of uncreated light, as He springs eternal light of the Holy Trinity.
They saw His glory because they have been with Him and because He wanted to strengthen them for His crucification that would be done. St. Elias and St. Moses are with Him in His glory and St. Apostles are also in the uncreated light of Trinity. Why and Saints from heaven and on earth are in the same place and everyone looks to … Him? Because God wanted us to say that the Saints in heaven and on earth are all of His concern and that all to Him to be alive. They look to Him because He is Life of the world.
Who is not looking to God does not have a full view of heart, that’s a man deeply in sin. But who wants to be with Him, for only see Him, he only wants it with Him from all his heart. And when you love you stay with the one you love. And St. Peter wants to be with God, because he says: „Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias” [Idem, Mat. 17, 4].
And what means to do house with God and with the Saints, than that to always be with the Lord and His Saints in the Church? In the Romanian language „makes a house with someone” means you marry someone. And when you marry someone, it means that a love so much that you want to do everything you can power as your wife to be fine.The same has been and Lord: He died for us, for His Church, because we are all well since. And St. Peter asked exactly this … well, eternal good to be with God in His glory.
But on Tabor we hear the Holy Father speaking and the Holy Ghost resting in the Son, Who is raising, Who is full of the Trinity’s glory. The revelation of this celebration is a revelation of the increated and eternal light of the Trinity, but, in the same time, is a revelation of three persons of the Trinity. The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost revele Themselves before the Apostles and they know again, that God is not a person, but three persons from eternity and These persons are in an eternal comunion between Them.
On Tabor they are three persons toghether with Lord… and these Apostles saw the eternal glory of God and God is Trinity of persons. Here is a perfect paralelism between three Apotles and…three persons of God. In a Russian Icon of Transfiguration we can see the Lord climing with the Apostles on the mountain, and then how they see His glory and how the Lord following them, at descent. Therefore we see that three is arhipresent in the Icon.
In a spiritual interpretation and the three Apostles represent faith, hope and love, the three theological virtues. And the mountain is raising our mind to see and to know the hidden, mystical things of God. While the brightness of God through the clothes and the intense yellow of the Icon talk about the fact, that the light of God transfigurates the soul, the body and the whole matter, the entire creation of God.
And through it all we understand that God loves us … but that his love transfigurates the man, if we have a living relationship with Him and not to let a man sinful, corrupt. In other words, if a man lives with God, if he is an orthodox, must be a seer of God.
And, because God not only saves at linguistic level or formal, but actually saves. The man that has experience of the sight of God is full of His beauty.
Without it we are in the darkness of this world, in sin and death, and we do not know the Rising from Above, the Son of God became man.
From our part we wish you in this day, much joy and happiness in your life and the eternal light of Christ iluminate your mind, to get to know the Beloved Son of God, and His Father together with Him, and the Holy Spirit, together forever with the Father and Son, now and forever ever and ever. Amen!
Father Dorin Octavian Picioruş
Father Dorin Octavian Picioruş is the webmaster of this blog and doctoral student in theology in the Dogmatic Orthodox Theology to the Theology Faculty in Bucharest, Romania. He is going shortly to support his doctoral thesis with the title: The sight of God in the theology of Saint Simeon the New Theologian.
We dedicate this preach, designed from the outset in English, to Father Stephen Freeman and to all Orthodox Christians and to Non-Christians speakers and English language knowledge, because the joy of this holy day is the joy of the whole humanity.
Thank you Father Dorin for this beautiful and inspiring homily of the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ on this day we celebrate the Transfiguration.
You have inspired this English speaking Orthodox Christian!
Greetings and blessings from San Diego, California, US.
Christ is in our midst!
Pleasure is from my part, brother Robert, and have a good year and a good life from God.
Yes, this day, I had a deep feeling from God, I felt the grace of God and His love must be known by everybody.
Christ is and will be with us!