Homily :: August 6, 2017
08/06/17: The Transfiguration of the Lord – Feast
08/06/17: The Transfiguration of the Lord - Feast - Father Joseph J. Arackal
The message of the readings today is clear: we celebrate the transfiguration of Jesus in time, but the deeper meaning of that event is that Christ rules all creation, Christ is the one who has put aside his dominion in order to show us how God loves us and wants to bring us home.
The first reading and the psalm both make this point clear for us, with the reading from Daniel presenting the image of the Son of man claiming his rightful dominion and power over all things. A couple of interesting details from the gospel can help to understand the feast more clearly and these surround Moses and Elijah.
Moses and Elijah share the distinction of having no known grave. Elijah was taken up to God at the end of his life, a confirmation of the special place this prophet had in the whole tradition of God’s prophets. Moses dies, but God himself takes care of his burial, no one in Israel knew where he was buried. These figures from the past, whose ends are mysterious come back now and represent the law and the prophets.
Finally Elijah was the prophet who was to return at the end times. His return was seen in popular piety as a sign of the end of time, the arrival of the kingdom. Passover meals to this day include a place at the table for Elijah, and at one point the door to the room is opened to welcome him.
By Glenn CJ Byer, MA SLD© 2003, OCP. All rights reserved.