On the Mountain Thou wast Transfigured, O Christ God,
And Thy disciples beheld Thy glory as far as they could see it;
So that when they would behold Thee crucified,
They would understand that Thy suffering was voluntary,
And would proclaim to the world,
That Thou art truly the Radiance of the Father!
Kontakion of the Feast of Transfiguration
It is inevitably the case that no matter how much a man may write and offer meditations on Theology – the feasts of the Church overtake you and say with an elegance transcending human ability what you have struggled to speak otherwise. In the feast of the Transfiguration, celebrated today, August 6, following the revelation of Scripture, Christ the Beautiful and Christ the Crucified are presented in a single figure. The transfigured Christ is seen in His glory by His disciples “as far as they could see it” (there is only so much the human eye can bear). But this glory is revealed so that when they see Him crucified “they would understand that it was voluntary,” that is, they would understand that the crucifixion is nothing other than the love of God. The Crucified God is the Beautiful God Who has entered into suffering freely on our behalf. Our words may say this, but they cannot speak with the eloquence of the Word Who was both transfigured and crucified.
O Christ, Thou art truly the Radiance of the Father!