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6th August - The Transfiguration of the Lord

Posted on 6th August, 2019


Reading from a Sermon of Anastasius of Sinai on the Feast of the Transfiguration


Icon of the Transfiguration

     ‘After six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.’

     These are the miracles of our present feast, this is the mystery which is now accomplished on the mountain for our salvation. For it is this celebration, this feast of Christ, which has brought us together here today. In order to penetrate into the heart of these awe-inspiring mysteries with the disciples whom our Lord chose, let us listen to the holy voice of God which summons us from on high, from the mountain top.

     There we must hasten – I make bold to say – like Jesus, who is our leader and has gone before us into heaven. There, with him, may the eyes of our mind shine with his light and the features of our soul be made new; may we be transfigured with him and moulded to his image, ever becoming divine, being transformed in an ever greater degree of glory.

     Let us run there, eager and joyful, and let us be enveloped in the cloud, like Moses and Elijah, or James and John. Be like Peter, rapt at the divine vision, transfigured by the glory of the transfiguration, lifted high above the things of this world. Let us leave the flesh and creation behind and turn to the Creator, to whom Peter in ecstasy said: ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here.’

     Yes indeed, Peter, it is good for us to be here with Jesus and to remain here for ever. What is more blessed, what more sublime, what more exalted than to be with God, to be shaped to his likeness, to dwell in the light? Since each one of us has God within him and is transformed into his divine image, let us cry out in joy: ‘It is good for us to be here.’ For here all is light, and joy, and happiness, and bliss; here the heart is at rest, in peace, serene; here we behold Christ our God; here he comes to dwell with the Father, and as he enters he says: ‘Today salvation has been brought to this house’; here with Christ are the countless treasures of eternal blessings; here are the beginnings of the age to come, here we see it reflected as in a mirror.

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I think this is a beautiful sermon, shining with faith and love for Our Lord. It is indeed good, as Peter remarked, for us to be here: contemplating their "mirror of the age to come".