minima maxima sunt

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

Archive for the tag “gospel”

Reading from John

Here is the reading from John. Was able to find some pictures on the net to reference the Evangelical Symbols. Johns is the eagle. I also chose to start the reading in Latin which will continue on the other readings.

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.

Mark, the Lion

Mark writing the Gospel in Illuminated Manuscript.

The second Gospel in the canon of New Testament Scriptures is attributed to Mark. There are a few Marks mentioned in the bible, John Mark and Mark the cousin of Barnabas, and there is a strong tradition toward the writer being John Mark. The story goes that Mark was one of the 70 disciples, the son of another Mary (Mary the mother of John as in John Mark), John was his hebrew name but he was surnamed Marcus (Mark), also that he was the young man who ran from the garden of on the night Jesus was betrayed. It is believed that he travelled with the apostle Peter, and wrote down the Gospel from Peters point of view. The Gospel According to mark is the earliest of the Four Gospels in the Canon.

St. Mark is known for founding the Alexandrian church of which he was also bishop. Alexandria was one of the centers of the early christian church, along with Jerusalem, Antioch and Rome. He was martyred there in the year 68.

Saint Mark the Evangelist

As mentioned in the Evangelical Symbols post, St. Mark’s symbol is that of the Lion, and in iconography of St. Mark there may be a lion in view or hiding in the scenery. The lion was a symbol of majesty and wisdom with which the Gospel of Mark is credited. In the illuminated manuscript page, you can see the winged lion sitting under the table Mark is writing the Scriptures on. The scripture is another symbol often seen with mark, seen as an open scroll or a piece of paper with writing on it or sometimes as just a book, the symbol sets him as an author of Sacred Scripture.

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