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News August 6, 2014

The Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord

The Transfiguration is an important opportunity for believers to look to Christ as “the light of the world,” and to experience the kind of conversion which the Bible frequently describes as an emergence from darkness to light.

In Matthew 17, Jesus leads Peter, James and John up a high mountain where Christ is then transfigured before them. “His face shone like the sun and his garments became white as light,” the Gospel reads.

Pope Emeritus Benedict has shared many reflections on the mystery of the Transfiguration. Benedict says that the transfiguration displays Christ as the full manifestation of God's light. This light, which shines forth from Christ both at the transfiguration and after his resurrection, is ultimately triumphant over the power of the darkness of evil. “In our time too, we urgently need to emerge from the darkness of evil, to experience the joy of the children of light!”

Benedict, in explaining the glory of Christ as he is transfigured, says that “According to the senses, the light of the sun is the most intense ever known in nature, but according to the spirit, the disciples saw for a short time brightness more intense: that of the divine glory of Jesus, which illuminates the whole history of salvation.”

On Mt. Tabor, Christ “revealed the splendor of His divinity to His disciples, giving them the certainty that, through suffering and the cross we can gain resurrection. We always have to perceive His presence, His glory, and His divinity in the life of the Church, in contemplation, and in everyday events.”

In the Transfiguration, as in baptism, we hear the voice of the Heavenly Father, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” The presence of Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets of the Old Covenant, it is highly significant: the whole history of the Alliance is focused on Him, the Christ, who accomplishes a new "exodus," not to the Promised Land as in the time of Moses, but to Heaven.