Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Feast of the Transfiguration

The Gospel for the feast is St Matthew's account of the Transfiguration, 17:1-9.

However, as we are up to St Luke's account of the event, here that is first:

St Luke 9:28-36

28 Factum est autem post hæc verba fere dies octo, et assumpsit Petrum, et Jacobum, et Joannem, et ascendit in montem ut oraret. 29 Et facta est, dum oraret, species vultus ejus altera: et vestitus ejus albus et refulgens. 30 Et ecce duo viri loquebantur cum illo. Erant autem Moyses et Elias, 31 visi in majestate: et dicebant excessum ejus, quem completurus erat in Jerusalem. 32 Petrus vero, et qui cum illo erant, gravati erant somno. Et evigilantes viderunt majestatem ejus, et duos viros qui stabant cum illo. 33 Et factum est cum discederent ab illo, ait Petrus ad Jesum: Præceptor, bonum est nos hic esse: et faciamus tria tabernacula, unum tibi, et unum Moysi, et unum Eliæ: nesciens quid diceret. 34 Hæc autem illo loquente, facta est nubes, et obumbravit eos: et timuerunt, intrantibus illis in nubem. 35 Et vox facta est de nube, dicens: Hic est Filius meus dilectus, ipsum audite. 36 Et dum fieret vox, inventus est Jesus solus. Et ipsi tacuerunt, et nemini dixerunt in illis diebus quidquam ex his quæ viderant.

[28] And it came to pass about eight days after these words, that he took Peter, and James, and John, and went up into a mountain to pray. [29] And whilst he prayed, the shape of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became white and glittering. [30] And behold two men were talking with him. And they were Moses and Elias, [31] Appearing in majesty. And they spoke of his decease that he should accomplish in Jerusalem. [32] But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep. And waking, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. [33] And it came to pass, that as they were departing from him, Peter saith to Jesus: Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias; not knowing what he said. [34] And as he spoke these things, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them; and they were afraid, when they entered into the cloud. [35] And a voice came out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son; hear him. [36] And whilst the voice was uttered, Jesus was found alone. And they held their peace, and told no man in those days any of these things which they had seen.

Here is St Matthew's for reference purposes:

1 Et post dies sex assumit Jesus Petrum, et Jacobum, et Joannem fratrem ejus, et ducit illos in montem excelsum seorsum: 2 et transfiguratus est ante eos. Et resplenduit facies ejus sicut sol: vestimenta autem ejus facta sunt alba sicut nix. 3 Et ecce apparuerunt illis Moyses et Elias cum eo loquentes. 4 Respondens autem Petrus, dixit ad Jesum: Domine, bonum est nos hic esse: si vis, faciamus tria tabernacula, tibi unum, Moysi unum, et Eliæ unum. 5 Adhuc eo loquente, ecce nubes lucida obumbravit eos. Et ecce vox de nube, dicens: Hic est Filius meus dilectus, in quo mihi bene complacui: ipsum audite. 6 Et audientes discipuli ceciderunt in faciem suam, et timuerunt valde. 7 Et accessit Jesus, et tetigit eos: dixitque eis: Surgite, et nolite timere. 8 Levantes autem oculos suos, neminem viderunt, nisi solum Jesum.9 Et descendentibus illis de monte, præcepit eis Jesus, dicens: Nemini dixeritis visionem, donec Filius hominis a mortuis resurgat.

And after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: [2] And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. [3] And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. [4] And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. [5] And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him. [6] And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid. [7] And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them, Arise, and fear not. [8] And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus. [9] And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead.

Matins readings (from St John Chrysostom)

Reading 9: Since the Lord had spoken much concerning dangers, much concerning His Own sufferings, much concerning death, and the killing of His disciples, and had laid upon them many hard and grievous things, and since all these were in this present life, and already hanging over them, whereas the good things were matter for hope and waiting as, for example, that whosoever should lose his life for His sake should find it, for that the Son of Man should come in the glory of His Father, and reward every man according to his works. Matth. xvi. 25, 27. Therefore, to assure them by their own eyes, and show them what the glory is wherein He will come, He manifested and unveiled it to them, as far as in this life they were able to grasp it, lest they and especially Peter should grieve over their own deaths, or the death of their Lord.

Reading 10: Behold what He doth, when He treateth of heaven and hell. Where He saith Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. And again He shall reward every man according to his works in these words He pointeth at heaven and hell. 

Reading 11: But although He speaketh concerning both, He giveth a glimpse of heaven only and not of hell. To see hell would have profited the brutish and stupid, but His disciples were upright and clear-sighted, and therefore for them it was enough to be strengthened by the better things. This was what suited Him the best. Yet He left not the other altogether undone. Sometimes He set the horrors of hell, as it were, before the eyes, as for instance in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, and that of him who was fain to wring the hundred pence from his fellow-servant.

Reading 12: But mark well Matthew's good will, in not concealing the names of those who were preferred. John also likewise often recordeth the special praises of Peter with great truthfulness and care. For in this companionship of the Apostles, there was no envy, nor did vainglory find place. It was therefore the leaders of the Apostles whom Christ took apart from the others. And wherefore did he take these only? Because there were evidently superior to the rest. And why did he not do this straightway, and not until after six days? Evidently to spare the natural feelings of the other disciples; and for the same reason Christ did not for six days announce who were to go up.

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