Sunday, August 6, 2017

Met Georges Khodr: The Light of the Transfiguration

Arabic original here.

The Light of the Transfiguration

The Lord took Peter, James and John to a high mountain, perhaps Mount Tabor in Galilee or perhaps Mount Hermon (Jebel al-Sheikh). There He showed them what they could not really realize. He showed them His glory, a glory that He possessed and that was in Him, but which had been veiled, which He had veiled deliberately. Jesus did not want to overwhelm humankind with His glory, so He hid it in order to act among us as one of us and so that we may arrive at His glory at the end of our pilgrimage on earth.

If we see the cross, there His glory is made manifest to us and if we witness the resurrection, then His glory shines in us. Before this, it was necessary for Him to be veiled, but He nevertheless wanted to make clear to His disciples that He is the true appearance of God, that He is the only-begotten Son. So He brought Elijah and Moses from heaven, from their rest, to reveal to humankind that the Law of Moses has gone extinct and Judaism has ended. If the glory of Christ has shown forth, then the glory of Moses may be proud. And if His light has been made manifest, then His light grants us to understand the prophecies represented by Elijah.

Through His transfiguration, Jesus intimated to the apostles that prophecy had been fulfilled in Him, that His is the awaited one and so we are not in need of prophecy because everything the prophets said He said, since He demonstrated on the cross that God is love and He showed them this by His death.

As for Peter, when he saw this great scene, he said, "It is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Jesus did not accept this offer. He refused for them to remain on the mountain because the mountain of the transfiguration was a stage on the way to death. Death is important and even more important is the resurrection. For this reason the Lord said to Peter, "Peter, you do not know what you are saying. It is not permitted for you to seek glory like this in a cheap and effortless way."

Glory is only given to those who are prepared for death. The glory that people talk about and seek from each other is a cheap glory. Jesus did not come for such glory. He gave people another glory, a glory from their faith and from their love for the Father. He gave them a beloved glory.

The greatest of the great, the ones who enjoy their Lord's favor, the prominent ones in the kingdom are known by no one. They have no palaces. They make no show. People do not talk about these possessors of true glory. The poor are possessors of glory. The persecuted are possessors of glory. The ignorant who neither read nor write, if they belong to Christ are glorified. But those who claim to be cultured, who are merely puffed-up, do not inherit the glory of the kingdom. The clever person does not go up to heaven because he is clever but because he is humble and chaste, loving the Lord and loving the poor.

Jesus said to Peter, "I will give you glory from upon the cross. In blood, in death, in the death of martyrdom." Those who truly belong to Christ die as martyrs just as Peter died-- beaten without beating anyone, humiliated without humiliating anyone. Christ Jesus did not claim, did not make a show of glory. He died a death that He accepted in obedience to the Father.

God wants to be manifest in our life, for the face of every person to become shining like the sun, for Christ to be traced upon our faces, upon the face of each one of us because he lives according to the Gospel and becomes a christ.

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