Saturday, August 3, 2019

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos): The Transfiguration

Arabic original here.

The Transfiguration

At the moment of the Transfiguration, the Apostles' heart was enlightened by the Holy Spirit and they saw Christ as He is in reality, not merely a man walking with them along the byways of Palestine, but as the Son of God. They saw human nature transfigured, even before the Resurrection, pierced by the fire of the divinity dwelling within it.

Perhaps someone might say, "Christ is no longer visible in the body among us so how can we see Him with a heart enlightened by the Holy Spirit, as the Bible says, 'He who has seen Me has seen the Father'?!" (John 14:9)

Today Christ is no longer close to us. If our eyes were open, we would be able to discern Him through the mysteries of the Church, through our neighbor. There is also the Gospel, God's word.

The Apostle Peter, who was with James and John on Mount Tabor, tells us:

"And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19).

So it is important for us to behold the face of Christ through the divine word. Yes, we have the example of this treasure-- I mean the Holy Bible-- which points us to Christ. Saint Jerome says, "He who is ignorant of the Bible is igorant of Christ."

Saint Irenaeus says, "The purpose of man's life is to see God, to see the face of Christ. There lies joy.  There lies true happiness. Your face, O Lord, I seek."

The Lord revealed His true face to the three apostles before the Resurrection so that they would accept the mystery of the cross, so that they would understand that the cross is the path of resurrection, for Christ Himself and for us too.

We also have in turn the possibility, while we are still on earth, to have a foretaste, as was the case for the three apostles, of seeing God, of seeing the uncreated light, whose fullness is preserved in eternity. Hear last but not least what Saint Silouan says: "The light of humility makes us see through t the light of Christ."

Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies