Trinity IX 2020
By the time this reflection appears, the church will have celebrated the feast of the Transfiguration: as it occurs on a Thursday when most of us will not be at Mass, it seems appropriate to write a few belated words on this rather significant episode.
Recall the story, recounted in all three synoptic gospels. Jesus takes his ‘inner cabinet’ of Peter, James, and John to a high mountain where he appeared changed (transfigured): his clothes became a dazzling white and he was seen with Moses and Elijah before the vision faded. What’s the point of the episode?
I think above all, that it is a demonstration of the mystical divine Christ, called theologically the transcendent Christ: the opposite pole is the immanent Christ, the human Christ so clearly manifest in the compassionate healing Jesus – and, of course, in the Christmas story. The images of the transcendent and immanent Christ are mutually interdependent attributes of God incarnate in Jesus.
But what of Moses and Elijah, symbolic of the Law and the prophets? What are they doing in the story of the transfiguration of Jesus, who, in his own words, came not to abolish the Law but to fulfil it? They stand to represent the great Hebrew tradition which is ultimately realised in Jesus Christ: without the Old Testament, there would be no New Testament ̶ and no Christianity.
‘A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased: listen to him’. Alleluia
Deacon Douglas MacMillan
Collect for this week
who sent your Holy Spirit
to be the life and light of your Church:
open our hearts to the riches of your grace,
that we may be bring forth the fruit of the Spirit
in love and joy and peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.