HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD – YEAR B:
In our Liturgy today, we celebrate the Feast of the “Transfiguration of the Lord”. This feast became widespread in the West in the 11th century and was introduced into the Roman calendar in 1457 to commemorate the victory over Islam in Belgrade, Serbia. Before that, the Transfiguration of the Lord was celebrated in the Syrian, Byzantine, and Coptic rites. The Transfiguration fortells the glory of the Lord Jesus as God, and His Ascension into heaven. It anticipates the glory of heaven, where we shall see God face to face. Through grace, we already share in the divine promise of eternal life.
The apocalyptic book of Daniel (Dan. 7: 9-10, 13-14) describes the “Son of Man” coming in glory to the throne of the Ancient One (God), Who gives Him dominion and kingship over all peoples and nations. This dominion and Kingship are everlasting and cannot be destroyed.
This glory is revealed in the gospel of today (Mark 9: 2-10) in the presence of Peter, James and John as eyewitnesses of His majesty (2 Pt. 1: 16-19). This experience will eventually enable the disciples to put things in perspective when they are faced with the event of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Dear friends, the appearance of Moses and Elijah, together with the voice of the Father, confirm that in Jesus, all is fulfilled. Though this glory is fully realized through Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection, the Transfiguration reassures that death doesn’t have the final say, but life does. In Jesus, death has been conquered!
I pray as we journey in life today, we will trustfully look forward to the glory and victory over the sufferings and challenges that come our way. May we be constantly awake to God’s word and action in our daily lives so as to see and experience His glory. As Jesus Christ reaffirmed His mission with the Transfiguration, may we reaffirm our commitment to doing God’s will in order to remain in His glory. Have a victory-full day!
Fr. Francis Onwunali