On 6 August 2014, the Orthodox Christians celebrate the Transfiguration of the Lord. His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Bucharest, together with His Grace Varlaam Ploiesteanul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch and Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of the law and of the prophesies
After reading the Evangelical pericope, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church delivered a sermon in which he spoke about the significance of today’s feast: „This transfiguration and, in fact, the changing of all His body and clothes shows us His divine glory. Thus, the first meaning of the Transfiguration of the Saviour is the appearance of His divine glory, which is the glory of His resurrection from the dead. Secondly, this feast has a special meaning for the relationship between the law of Moses, Prophets and Jesus Christ. (…) Thus, the Transfiguration shows us the relationship between the predictions and foretastes of the relationship of the humans with God in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ, the Son of the eternal God who was made man lest the humans turn their face away from God and while looking at Christ always to remain in holy steady relationship with God. The presence of Moses and of Elijah at the Tabor Mountain, at the time of the Transfiguration, shows us something else too, namely that Jesus Christ is the accomplishment both of the law and of the prophesies. “The accomplishment of the prophesies, You Yourself, Jesus Christ, having been the One who accomplished the fatherly good order, fills our hearts with joy and cheerfulness” we say in a prayer to the end of the Liturgy, after we mysteriously climbed up the Tabor Mountain in the Holy Communion with Christ in the never setting light of the Kingdom of Heaven of His Resurrection. Therefore, the law of Moses is accomplished in Jesus Christ because the law was given through Moses, and the grace and truth were given through Jesus Christ. Grace and truth were given as an accomplishment of the law of Moses, while Elijah, who represents all the prophets, considers Jesus Christ as the One who accomplished all the prophecies of the Old Testament”.
The Transfiguration also anticipated the universal resurrection and the inclusion of the saved ones in the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven
The Patriarch of Romania also showed that “This feast speaks about our resurrection, of all people, at the end of the ages and about the glory of the Kingdom of God prepared for those who loved Christ believing in Him and accomplishing His will in his life. Here we have a prophetic view not only on the Resurrection of the Saviour from the dead because the Transfiguration occurred short time before the passions, death and Resurrection of the Saviour, but also as an anticipation of the glory of Christ at His second coming, at the end of the world, when He comes in glory and power to judge the living and the dead whose kingdom will have no end. This thing shows us the main reason why the church does not celebrate this feast during the Lent as it should have been done according to the chronology of the Gospels. Instead of observing the time of the Gospel, the Church took a spiritual freedom theologically motivated and settled this feast not during the Lent, not before the week of the Holy Passion, but on the sixth and last month of the church year, namely in August. Why this establishment of the feast on the last month of the church year? It is because the glory of the Transfiguration of the Lord anticipated not only His Resurrection from the dead, but also the universal resurrection and entrance of the saved ones in the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven. Why on the sixth and not on the seventh day of August? It is because man was created on the sixth day. Adam would have reached this glory of the Kingdom of Heaven unless he had sinned. But because Adam and Eve sinned, Christ, the new Adam raised the man from the sin and death and gave the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Feast of the last sense of existence
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel has also said: “The Transfiguration is the feast of the last sense of existence, meaning that man, heaven and earth, these realities, are not made for death, but for eternal glory, because at the second coming of Jesus Christ the heaven and earth will change into a new heaven and new earth where there will be no more darkness and decay, neither death and tears, and all of them will be full of the glory of God and a witness of the never ending love of the Most Holy Trinity for creation, for the universe created and saved. Thus, we have a foretaste of the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven in the Transfiguration, and this is why the troparion says “You showed Your glory to Your disciples, as much as it was possible”, as much as they could endure it, but if the glory of God had been shown in all its fullness it would have overwhelmed the disciples and they could not have resisted”.
To end with the Divine Liturgy, His Grace Varlaam Ploiesteanul said the prayer to be read on 6 August, on the feast of the Transfiguration, for blessing the grapes.
The faithful present received small icons of the Transfiguration.