minima maxima sunt

The Small things are the Great things; as in a grain of mustard seed.

Transfiguration

The Transfiguration and Last Supper in a Bible from Floreffe Abbey, c. 1155

August the 6th is the Feast of the Transfiguration. Known also as Metamorphosis and Preobrazhenie in Greek and Slavic respectively; along with baptism, crucifixion, resurrection and the ascension it is one of the major events of the life of Christ found in the Gospel.

The story from the Gospels tells of Jesus taking Peter, James and John to a mountain, and while there Jesus begins to shine like the sun, and his clothes turn white as the light. Moses and Elijah appear and converse with Jesus, and a cloud surrounds them where a Voice is heard saying “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him..”

A story like this is like a puzzle which all fits together into a complete picture, but non the less, is made up of several pieces that are distinct. We see Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and Prophets make an appearance, which apart from demonstrating the communion of saints as being a valid function within the church, tells us something about the authority of Christ over the law and tradition, and is a sort of trinity. We hear the Father speak, and a cloud appears; similar to the events at Jesus’ baptism, a picture of the Trinity. It seems like two opposing triangles representing the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and another trinity of God, His Law and His prophets, like the two triangles that form the star of David.

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Transfigure comes from Latin and has the same components as it’s Greek and Slavic counterparts. Trans = to cross or change; figure = shape or form. It means to change shape or form and in the story we understand this to be exactly what happens, something is revealed, which becomes visible. The Son of Man, appearing in human form, reveals the eternity of his divinity. It is sacramental and in a way is very similar to the transubstantial quality of the Eucharist. In the transfiguration, something is revealed that was hidden to the senses, the glory of the almighty shines through. The Eucharist, being the real presence of Christ, becomes something without changing its physical appearance, a change in substance rather than appearance. It was a delight to find both the transfiguration and the last supper pictured on the page from Floreffe Abbey above as this fit perfectly with what was in my mind about this feastday, but then I thought that this must have been also in the mind of the artist as well, seeing the link between the Eucharist and the transfiguration.

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3 thoughts on “Transfiguration

  1. marieagrace on said:

    Hi Mike:) In this blog it says that Father God said “This is my Son in which I am well pleased” Also Jesus said to pray to the father and gave us the Our Father. Jesus gives all the praise and honor and glory to the Father not to himself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and just that or God would not have said what is here and the others heard it also.This has always bothered me Mike and I have allot of confusion praying because of this. Jesus said to ask of the Father what ever you want but to ask in His name. He never said to pray to him but to ask the Father and I get really confused about this one. If I say Jesus is not God I am denying him? NO If I say he is not the Son of God I would be denying him,right? Help me out with this will yah!

    • Mike LaFountain on said:

      That blog was supposed to post on Monday the 6th.. Oh well. Anyway, it is interesting how the communion exists between the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.. Each seem to point to the others and yet all are one god. I think this is why the older Christians pray in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as opposed to separating them.

      More to the point is that whether it is easy or hard to understand this profound mystery, when the incarnation is part of the deal, we have to allow for some rules to play out. Primary among these is that the Son, didn’t come to be God, but to become man. To be born, to play, suffer, eat, ad even worship like every other man. Jesus praying to the Father while on earth, is really a demonstration of God playing by the rules, without which it could not be said that Christ was fully man as well as fully God.

      Sent from my iPad

  2. marieagrace on said:

    Mike I love you and know you write such wonderful blogs about the saints and the church etc. but i want to be sure of what I feel in my heart is either wrong or right.should I go to the forum with this one? I know your busy:) Blessings and Peace!!!! Psalms 91

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