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  • Writer's pictureBishop Mesrop Parsamyan

Transfiguration



Today, the Armenian Church celebrates the third of the five Major Feasts, known as the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ.


The evangelist describes how Jesus Christ was transfigured in the presence of His three disciples, Peter, John, and James, on Mount Tabor: “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became bright as light. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will set up three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him, I am well pleased; listen to him!” (Matthew 17:1-5).


According to tradition, the Transfiguration occurred during the Feast of Tabernacles. In the Old Testament, this feast represented God's presence among His people, during which they lived in tents for seven days, recalling their time in the wilderness. In the New Testament, the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ reveals the nature of that presence through the incarnation of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.


St. Yeghishe writes, “Mount Tabor was a true kingdom because it symbolized the unified Trinity's complete manifestation. Although God is not confined to a specific location, He appeared in human form and can thus be associated with a particular place. Therefore, the place where God manifested Himself can rightfully be called a kingdom, as the divine presence is synonymous with a kingdom.”


During the Transfiguration, the apostles witnessed the glory of God's Kingdom in the person of Christ, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9). Overwhelmed by this divine splendor, they desired to remain in that heavenly glory with all their hearts.


Let us, too, pray to the Lord like the apostles and say: “It is good for us to be here.” And in our hearts, “let us build three tabernacles for the Lord, Moses, and Elijah, and let us continually glorify the Most Holy Trinity, now and forever. Amen.” (Hymn of Transfiguration, Tone 1)

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