“Get up. Do not be afraid”
August 6, 2015
This week we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. The word tells us what the feast is all about – Преображення (Ukrainian); μεταμόρφωσις/metamorphosis (Greek), a ‘change of form’. Or in this case a change of appearance or really, a revelation of the real appearance. Jesus took three of His Apostles up to Mount Tabor and before them He changed! The Evangelists Matthew and Mark tried to explain it with the best word they could come up with – metamorphosis/transfiguration. He revealed to them as much of His divine glory as they could deal with at the time. He granted them a foretaste of the glory that they too would enjoy one day. They, of course, were mesmerized and terrified and dumbfounded all at once. Why did Jesus do this? As He was moving in the direction of the fulfillment of His earthly mission – which would involve His traumatic death and eventual return to the Father, He taught His disciples quite openly about what would happen. However, He did not want them to misunderstand and lose heart when these things did come to pass. So He arranged that at least the stronger of the Apostles would understand more fully Who He really is and that they need never lose heart. He wanted them to be strengthened in the Faith and remain strong no matter how dark the night became and no matter what terrible things they would witness in the garden of Gethsemane and on Golgotha. He wanted them to know about the glory and heavenly delight that we attain by remaining strong in our faith, bearing with suffering if need be, and always faithful to our Lord and His Church. This feast of the Transfiguration we ask our Lord to show us His glory. To show us the glory of God in whatever way He chooses… in the depth of our hearts and souls, in our prayer, in nature, in our church, in the people around us, in the Holy Eucharist! May Christ show us what the Apostles experienced so that we too might be strengthened in our faith. To be strong in our Ukrainian Catholic faith no matter what comes, be it a personal challenge, family crises or some terrible global disaster of faith and morals that many say is already upon us. But let us also ask our loving Lord for the grace to serve as a transfiguration for those around us.
Let us live our lives at every moment so that those that we encounter in our daily life would see an image of the glory of God in us… the way we act, the way we speak, the way we strive to evangelize the world around us no matter the cost. Come and allow Christ to transform us forever – “ Устаньте, не страхайтеся!”
Very Rev. Dr. Michael Kwiatkowski