O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Transfiguration of the Sinner

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord - II Class
Epistle: II Pet. 1:16-19 [We believe in the One whom God revealed to be His Son.]
Gospel: Mt. 17:1-9 [The Transfiguration]
Full Latin-English propers here.

This is one of several feasts (together with the Ascension) that historically was used to celebrate Christ the King, since the actual feast of Christ the King in October was not established until the 20th Century. Why is today's feast about Christ the King? Today we see Christ as He truly is. Today we see His glory revealed. In the Divine Office today (at the Invitatory antiphon) He is called the "Summum Regem gloriae" (Most High King of Glory). That is what makes the Transfiguration important: We are seeing the glory of Christ the King revealed. Today Christ reveals His True Self to us and lets us see Him as He really is.

If only sinners could behold themselves the way the Church beholds her Bridegroom today! If only sinners could behold themselves as they truly are. They would be horrified that they used to have such great dignity, created by God for the specific purpose of knowing, loving, and serving His Truth. The truth about how God loves them with a Self-sacrificing love and wants wants them to be together with Him, joined to Him inseparably in Heaven. God knows that because He is infinite, He can make them far happier than anything else can. However, they have abandoned Him for everything else. They have left Him for pleasure that is easy to acquire and easy to pass, like the flame of a match. The match stays lit for a while, but it passes as easily and as quickly as it was lit. Upon comparing the finite pleasures of the world, it becomes clear that the life out among the secular world, away from God, is a waste of time. That time would have been better spent with God, who can satisfy you far greater than the worldly filth with which you wasted your time. You squandered your life on worldly pleasures when God was offering greater pleasures in the life He was trying to build for you. He created you to know, love, and serve Him and to love your neighbor and you degraded yourself down to the level of a common sinner by accepting the empty pleasures of the secular world and all the manipulation that comes with the pursuit of that pleasure. Sin sounds good, but when you compare it to the good that comes only from God, it becomes painfully clear just how evil sin is. Similarly a dirty plate doesn't seem that bad, until you compare it to a clean plate. Then it becomes clear just how dirty the plate is. Today we see Christ as He truly is: the Most High King of Glory. Let us pray that sinners see themselves as they truly are: created by God with a great dignity, at the pinnacle of creation, to know the love of God, only to have been greatly degraded by their own sins, contrary to their own nature. If sinners were to see themselves as they truly are, they would be horrified at how much they have degraded themselves.