Christ’s Transfiguration Shows Us the Deified Human Nature in the Kingdom of Heaven – Patriarch Daniel says

Basilica News Agency – Aurelian Iftimiu- 11/8/2020

Through the Transfiguration of our Saviour Jesus Christ we are shown the deified, illumined human nature, as it will be made manifest in the Kingdom of Heaven, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said Thursday, August 6, during the Divine Liturgy. 

‘This glory of Christ will be shared with all those who obeyed Christ, and fulfilled His will during their lives.’ 

‘In the Orthodox Church, the saints have an aureole, they have a light around their heads to show that in them dwell the glory of the love, beauty, light and grace of the Most Holy Trinity and that they are witnesses of Christ’s glory shared with humans indicating His glory as far as they could bear it. 

That is why the Patriarch explained, everyone receives the uncreated light of the glory of the Most Holy Trinity ‘according to the measure of their faith and love, the measure of their progress in saintly lifestyle, purification of sins and the enlightenment of the soul and body by fulfilling God’s will, by partaking of the Holy Mysteries, through pure and saintly lifestyle.’ 

The Patriarch of Romania reminded that the Lord’s Transfiguration was a preparation for His disciples for the Mystery of the Resurrection. 

‘The disciples had to be prepared that when they saw Jesus Christ disfigured, crucified on the cross, they would remember His transfigured face, His divine glory.’ 

Presence of the Holy Trinity 

The Patriarch explained that the Holy Trinity was present at the Lord’s Transfiguration just like at His Baptism in the Jordan. 

‘The Son is transfigured, that is the Son of God who became the Son of Man through incarnation. The bright cloud is the Holy Spirit in the interpretation of the Holy Fathers and from this bright cloud, which is the throne of the Father and the Son in Heavens, a voice said: This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased. Listen to him! (Matthew 17:5)’ 

According to His Beatitude, the feast of the Transfiguration is also a light for the way of ending our earthly life and for the preparation for the last judgment. 

“We use the time of life on earth in preparation for the encounter with Christ Who will bless those who have believed in Him and shown love for God through prayer and love for others through good works.” 

The church and the three shelters 

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel recalled that the liturgical space of a church was pre-figured by the three shelters St. Peter spoke of on Mount Tabor.  

“Each church is full of the grace of the Most Holy Trinity and is composed of three shelters: a narthex, a nave and an altar.” 

“The narthex represents the Old Testament, the nave represents the church in procession to the altar, and the altar symbolizes the Kingdom of Heaven. Every church is a church of Tabor. ” 

“Believers who pray intensely in the church feel joy in their souls, go to their homes with lighted faces, full of the peace and joy of Christ, saying somehow with the Holy Apostle Peter: Lord, it is good for us to be here (Matthew 17: 4).” 

“A celebration of the urge for holiness 

The Patriarch noted that the day’s feast “calls us to change our way of living, of acting, and through this, we show ourselves from this life as bearers of the heavenly light; it is a celebration of the urge for holiness.” 

In conclusion, the Patriarch prayed to God that this feast “be for us an exhortation to more prayer, to saintly living and to helping our fellow people to bring joy to their souls.” 

 The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord has a special significance for Patriarch Daniel, as this day marks the 33rd anniversary of his monastic tonsure.