Transfiguration – Mysterious Light

Armodoxy for Today: The Transfiguration

The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ is recorded in the three synoptic Gospels. (Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36) They tell a story of Jesus leading three of his disciples, Peter, James and John up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. St. Matthew says, His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.”

The Evangelist Mark describes his appearance, “His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.”

And St. Luke describes it, “the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.”

Jesus was transfigured and accented by a light that cannot be the described except through allegory. The brilliance and quality of that life was undeniably undefinable.

In the Biblical account of Creation (Genesis 1) it is noteworthy that God starts the process by saying, “Let there be Light.” This takes place two days prior to the creation of the stars and the sun. In other words, according to this account, the first day of Creation is marked by a Light that is not defined by the sun or any astronomical body. This is the Divine Light, one that shines bright – dazzling and pure. It cannot be defined by measures, but rather by the purity and quality.

During the last several decades modern science and medicine have advanced to the point of intervening in the death process and giving people who have heart events a second chance at life. It happens often enough that the title “near death experience” is now an accepted phenomenon. If you listen to people who have had these near-death episodes, when they are revived or resuscitated, 98% of them return to life telling of a bright light that is not measured in lumens but by temperature: “A warm light,” they say. Could it be that this is a glance and a feel of the Divine Light?

The Armenian Church celebrates that Light as a mystery. The worship of the Armenian Church – the Holy Pataraq – begins with the words, “Mystery deep, without beginning and beyond understanding…”

Christ revealed only a portion of the Divine Light, the Divine Essence, at the Transfiguration. It is beyond our comprehension and understanding.

Tomorrow we continue on the theme and story of this Light, for today, we pray the Khorhourt Khorin, O mystery deep, inscrutable, without beginning, you have decked your supernal realm as a nuptial chamber to the light unapproachable and adorned with splendid glory the ranks of the fiery spirits.

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