My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
The Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord, God, and Savior
JESUS CHRIST (Part II)
Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite says that on Mt. Tabor at the time of Christ’s Transfiguration there was a great and frightful sight. First, because TWO SUNS ROSE, SOMETHING WHICH CREATION HAD NEVER KNOWN. It is not a question of one sun, the so-called parhelion, the image of the sun appearing before sunrise, and then the real sun appearing, but of two suns, and indeed at midday. Secondly, it is a frightful sight because ONE IS THE SUN KNOWN TO OUR SENSES RISING FROM THE HEAVENS AND THE OTHER IS INTELLIGIBLE, RISING FROM THE EARTH. THIS SECOND SUN WAS INCOMPARABLY HIGHER THAN THE SENSIBLE SUN, WHICH ROSE FROM THE HEAVENS. And just as with the rising of the sensible sun all the stars in the sky disappear, so too the rays of the sensible sun disappeared with the rising of the sun of Righteousness.
The Church and the Divine Eucharist can be called the Kingdom of God, IF THOSE WHO LIVE IN IT ATTAIN THE VISION OF THE UNCREATED GLORY OF GOD, which is the Kingdom. If we speak of the Church and the Kingdom of God and DO NOT LINK THEM WITH SEEING GOD, THE VISION OF THE UNCREATED LIGHT, WE ARE MAKING A THEOLOGICAL ERROR. Moreover, the sacraments (Mysteries) of the Church MANIFEST THE Kingdom of God and guide man to it, precisely because they are very closely connected WITH THE PURIFYING, ILLUMINATING, AND DEIFYING ENERGY OF GOD.
It is a teaching of the holy Fathers that Christ on Tabor showed men THE ARCHETYPAL BEAUTY OF THEIR IMAGE. Christ IS THE MODEL OF THE CREATION OF MAN, BECAUSE MAN WAS FORMED IN THE IMAGE OF THE Logos/Word. By this, WE SEE THE GLORY OF THE IMAGE AND WHAT A GREAT HONOR IT IS THAT WE ARE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. Our lineage is not low, but high, because the GLORIFIED CHRIST IS THE PROTOTYPE OF OUR CREATION, BUT ALSO BECAUSE HE IS OUR ARTIFICER AND CREATOR.
According to Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite, VISION IS USUALLY MORE TRUSTWORTHY THAN HEARING. First one hears something and then one goes on to look at it. But here the opposite happened. The holy Disciples saw the Glory of God and then the AFFIRMATION THROUGH HEARING FOLLOWED.
Explaining this Event, Saint Nikodemos says that the difference between the Old and New Testament is seen here. Usually, in the Old Testament, the operations worked through hearing, for the Prophets manifested the things to come through foretelling and prophecies. And usually, they first hear of God and then saw, as righteous Job confesses: “I HAVE HEARD OF YOU by the HEARING OF THE EAR, BUT NOW MY EYE SEES YOU” (Job 42:5). In the New Testament, however, it is the other way round. Usually, SEEING COMES FIRST, AND THEN HEARING. And this is natural, for in the Old Testament the coming of the Messiah was being proclaimed, but when the incarnate Son of God came, then seeing came first, because they saw him and the affirmation was heard.
Saint Theophylactos clearly shows the reasons why the two men of the Old Testament (Moses and Elijah) who had seen God were manifested. First, in order to demonstrate that Christ IS LORD OF THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS. Second, TO SHOW THAT HE IS LORD OF THE LIVING AND THE DEAD, SINCE MOSES AS A LAWGIVER AND DIED, WHILE ELIJAH WAS A PROPHET AND WAS STILL LIVING WHEN HE WAS CAUGHT UP IN HEAVEN IN A CHARIOT. Third, to show clearly that Christ not only was not opposed to the law but neither was He an enemy of God, otherwise these great men who saw God would NOT have spoken with Him. Fourth, to relieve the suspicion of some that He was Elijah, for whom they were waiting or some other Prophet. And fifth, to teach His Disciples to imitate these great men, that is to say, TO BE MEEK LIKE MOSES AND LIKE THE PROPHET ELIJAH BE ZEALOUS, ADAMANT AND RISK DANGER WHEN IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE TRUTH.
The Holy Transfiguration of Christ shows us just what Orthodox theology is. From the teaching of the Church we know that theology is not conjectural and cerebral knowledge, BUT MAN’S SHARING IN THE DEIFYING ENERGY, VISION OF UNCREATED LIGHT AND, INDEED, DEIFICATION (THEOSIS). When we speak of theology WE MEAN EXPERIENCE AND VISION OF GOD.
Moreover, we live in the Church and are trying not simply to become good people, but TO BE gods by grace. The life of the Church and Orthodox theology summon us to this height. (Source: The Feasts of the Lord by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos HIEROTHEOS)
“Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George