Feast of the Holy Transfiguration

Gospel Message & Recording

If we take all the stars and planets of the universe and place them on one end of a balance scale and on the other side stands Jesus. Jesus outweighs them all. I say this illustration to demonstrate that Jesus is greater and more important than anything in the universe, and the universe itself. When we think of something vast and great, we often think of the universe. But have we ever thought of how great Jesus is?

In the Gospel Reading today, taken from Luke 9:28:36, Jesus is transfigured on top of a mountain. With Him there are three of his choicest disciples Peter, John and James. During the time that Jesus is transfigured, that is, illuminated, or rather, radiating with light, there stood next to Him, Moses and Elijah. And the three converse with each other. At this time Peter offers a suggestion, “Let us make tabernacles for all three persons.” Suddenly, Moses and Elijah disappear and Jesus stands alone on a cloud, and a voice came from heaven saying, “This is my Son. Hear Him.” This indicates that Jesus is different from Moses or Elijah, or for that matter, any other human being that ever lived.  That He is indeed God in the flesh, and no one is equal to Him. He stands alone par excellence. 

As the Gospel indicates, Peter said what he said without knowing. But we who know the truth about Christ, who are baptized, and live within the life of the Church, do we make “tabernacles” of other things in our lives and place them next to Jesus? Do we make other people, or things in our life, equal to Jesus. We often hear the phrase “equally important.” For instance we would say, “Both are equally important,” when referring to two options. Are academics and church equally important? Is family and church equally important? Do we as Orthodox Christians put saints on an equal platform with Jesus? For example, like St. Mary or St. Gregorios. Are we putting our denomination on par with Christ? Further, do we see our career as equally important as Christ? These might not seem like overt decisions we make on day-to-day bases, but when the evidence of our life is examined, it’s clear that we have made other things equal to Christ. It’s time to remove our tabernacles that are erected next to Christ.