Excerpt from Sermon 51 on the Transfiguration by Pope St. Leo the Great (d. 461). Full sermon at the link below. Blessed Lent, everyone.
“And in this Transfiguration the foremost object was to remove the offence of the cross from the disciple’s heart, and to prevent their faith being disturbed by the humiliation of His voluntary Passion by revealing to them the excellence of His hidden dignity. But with no less foresight, the foundation was laid of the Holy Church’s hope, that the whole body of Christ might realize the character of the change which it would have to receive, and that the members might promise themselves a share in that honour which had already shone forth in their Head. About which the Lord bad Himself said, when He spoke of the majesty of His coming, “Then shall the righteous shine as the sun in their Father’s Kingdom,” whilst the blessed Apostle Paul bears witness to the self-same thing, and says: “for I reckon that the sufferings of this thee are not worthy to be compared with the future glory which shall be revealed in us:” and again, “for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in GOD. For when Christ our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” But to confirm the Apostles and assist them to all knowledge, still further instruction was conveyed by that miracle.”
“For Moses and Elias, that is the Law and the Prophets, appeared talking with the LORD; that in the presence of those five men might most truly be fulfilled what was said: “In two or three witnesses stands every word.” What more stable, what more steadfast than this word, in the proclamation of which the trumpet of the Old and of the New Testament joins, and the documentary evidence of the ancient witnesses combine with the teaching of the Gospel? For the pages of both covenants corroborate each other, and He Whom under the veil of mysteries the types that went before had promised, is displayed clearly and conspicously by the splendour of the present glory. Because, as says the blessed John, “the law was given through Moses: but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ,” in Whom is fulfilled both the promise of prophetic figures and the purpose of the legal ordinances: for He both teaches the truth of prophecy by His presence, and renders the commands possible through grace…”
3 thoughts on ““In this Transfiguration the foremost object was to remove the offence of the cross from the disciple’s heart””
I’m not sure if I’m remembering incorrectly or this is a Mandela Effect (the book of Apocalypse now talks about getting stamped by an image
of the beast instead of being marked by it: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/revelation/13) but now the eucharistic prayer I of the NO mass says we offer sacrificeS rather than one sacrifice. I remember it only being an unblemished sacrifice.
Here is a sermon from Bp. Sanborn on the Transfiguration. He quotes some of St. Pope Leo too, but he also gives one reason why Our Lord never came right out and said He was God. I’d never heard this. Very interesting.
The astounding part is that after this magnificent display, the disciples ran in fear, abandoning their master in his passion.