Jesus transfigures only before them who show the nerve to ascend the mountain. His glory can be beheld by those who are ready to transcend the apparent enticements offered by the “six days” (Matt 17:1) of the world so as to reclaim our true yet lost glory reserved in the timelessness of the seventh day, the eternal Sabbath. Paradise yearns for us and this yearning was made blatant in the transfiguration of Christ on the mountain revealing to his chosen disciples our primordial robe of glory which we transgressively traded for a robe of flesh.
Paradise is envisioned as a mountain drawing reference from Ezekiel 28:13-14. This mountain can only be ascended through the Cross. As St. Ephrem puts it; “Blessed is He who was pierced and so removed the sword from the entry to Paradise.” The Passion inevitably precedes the glorification. Origen explains how Christ was lured by Satan through Peter to abandon His Passion on the Cross by the temptation of the booths.
Lastly transfiguration of Christ is intrinsically exegetical in nature. As St. Ephrem suggests not only does Christ affirm his Lordship over heaven and earth by ordering them to descend the assumed Elijah and raise the buried Moses respectively but also fulfils in himself the Prophecy and Law which Elijah and Moses respectively represent; for after the prostration the disciples “saw no one except Jesus himself alone” (Matt 17:8). Fascinatingly this mountain is a typological repesentation of the Church. For St. Ephrem remarks;
“And the mountain became a type of the Church, and on it Jesus united the two covenants, which the Church received, and made known to us that He is the giver of the two. The one received his mysteries; the other revealed the glory of his works.”
Blessed Feast !
~ Dayroyo Fr. Basil
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