6th August. Feast of the Transfiguration

Transfiguration of Our Lord

This is where Jesus appears in glory, surrounded by a bright light, with Moses and Elijah on the mountaintop, traditionally Mt Tabor, and it is witnessed by three of the apostles, Peter, James and John. If you climb to the top of Mt. Tabor you do have an incredible view of the whole of the surrounding countryside, 360″ around. According to the gospels this takes place during Jesus’ ministry, though some scholars would move it to later, and it clearly looks forward to the resurrection, when the angels who announce his resurrection are covered in a similar bright light. The arrival of Moses and Elijah underline the fact that Jesus is the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament. The presence of the apostles, who do not understand what is going on, are about to take on the task now of being the agents of God’s message. It is a divine arrival, intervention, into this world. This is also the anniversary of the arrival of another bright light in the world. The first detonation over a city of a nuclear bomb. Rather than being a moment of encounter between God and humanity, what was left of humanity was sometimes no more than a shadow on a pavement. Contrasts can underline the difference between when we are on the right track and when very much on the wrong one. In a volatile world, it is a good time to pray about, and look again at, the continuing presence of nuclear arms in our world.

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