Thursday, April 20, 2017

It is good for us to be here

Upon Mount Tabor, Jesus revealed to his disciples a heavenly mystery.  These are the divine wonders we celebrate today;  this is the saving revelation given us upon the mountain; this is the festival of Christ that  has drawn us here.  Let us listen, then, to the sacred voice of God so compellingly calling us from on high, from the summit of the mountain, so that with the Lord's chosen disciples we may penetrate the deep meaning of these holy mysteries, so far beyond our capacity to express.
            Jesus goes before us to show us the way, both up the mountain and into heaven, and it is for us now to follow him with all speed, yearning for the heavenly vision that will give us a share in his radiance, renew our spiritual nature and transform us into his own likeness, making us forever sharers in his Godhead and raising us to heights as yet undreamed of.
            Let us run with confidence and joy to enter into the cloud like Moses and Elijah, or like James and John.  Let us be caught up like Peter to behold the divine vision and to be transfigured by that glorious transfiguration.  Let us retire from the world, stand aloof from the earth, rise above the body, detach ourselves from creatures and turn to the Creator, to whom Peter in ecstasy: Lord it is good for us to be here.
            It is indeed good to be here, as you have said, Peter.  It is good to be with Jesus and to remain here forever.  What greater happiness or higher honor could we have than to be with God, to be made like him and to live in his light?
            Therefore, since each of us possesses God in his heart and is being transformed into his divine image, we also should cry with joy: Lord it is good for us to be here-here where all things shine with divine radiance, where there is joy and gladness and exultation; where there is nothing in our hearts but peace, serenity and stillness; where God is seen.  For here, in our hearts, Christ takes up his abode together with the Father, saying as he enters:  Today salvation has come to this house. With Christ, our hearts receive all the wealth of his eternal blessings; and there where they are stored up for us in him, we see reflected as in a mirror both the first fruits and the whole of the world to come.     (from a sermon by Anastasius of Sinai, bishop)
            After Sunday, do we remember God is in our hearts?  Do we retire from the world to feel His peace in our hearts?  He told us he would be with us always.  And he is.  Do we let him transfigure us as he transfigured?  kvs

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