Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday's Coming: Anticipating The Feast of Transfiguration
Attendance will be larger on Easter and emotions run deeper at Christmas, but in the past several years I have been increasingly aware that no Feast Day of the Church means more to me in celebrating the mystery of Christ and the Gospel than the Feast of Transfiguration. We come to this great day again next Sunday.
On this day, the culmination of Epiphany, the anticipatory witness and promise of the entire Old Testament, the magnificent splendor of the Holy Trinity, the incomprehensible wonder of the Incarnation, the dark battle and sacrifice of the Crucifixion, and the Soul-Saving, Cosmos-Shaking power of the Resurrection are all set before us. This year, hearing God's word from Exodus 24 (Moses on the Mount), Psalm 2 (The King on the Mount), 2 Peter 1 (The Apostles on the Mount), and supremely Matthew 17 (Jesus on the Mount) we will be summoned to the heights of revelation that thrust us down to the ground in humility. Confronted with the glory of Christ, surrounded by the glory cloud of the Spirit, we will hear the voice of the Father from glory tell us, "Listen to him!"
What is the first word the terror-stricken disciples hear from their Savior? Jesus touched them and said, "Rise up! No longer be afraid." Can we imagine a more clear and powerful Gospel message?
"And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus Himself alone." Is that not the vision that must fill the horizon of our imagination and the Church's purpose? Is this not the vision that is the only hope of a fallen, broken, bleeding race? Solus Christus indeed!
Yes, this coming Sunday is one not to be missed; better, it is one to be savored and celebrated with joyous love, and anticipated with faith-filled hearts.
This marks the 'turn' for the Cross, the entrance to Lent and its culmination in Holy Week. Here is God's confession of his Son that follows on Peter's confession of the Christ. Here is God's revelation, his epiphany, of the supremacy of Jesus, the preview of the day on which every knee will bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord.
Yes, this coming Sunday is one for which I wait all the year.