Today is the big Orthodox feast — Transfiguration of the Lord. The people still love him called Apple Spas, or Second Saviour. In this day we will go to the temple to consecrate apples and pears, sprinkle us with Holy water. Also, we get joy and grace. But what is the feast of the Transfiguration, what is the meaning of this event, when you ask, unfortunately, few people know. Many people do believe that in this day need only to sanctify apples… With all the questions we have addressed to Archpriest George from the temple in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord, that he told us about this event and about what is the meaning of the upcoming celebration.
EXCURSION INTO THE HISTORY OF THE HOLIDAY
Orthodoxy is very much informative, wonderful, good for the soul. But we just do not notice and do not use in your life.
The mere Transfiguration of Christ is one of the moments of the earthly life of Jesus Christ. Christ himself did not write the gospel, but each of His words, actions, parables had a specific meaning (and interestingly, if a person changes gradually and continuously reads the gospel, he displays the different facets of the truth). On the eve of our Lord foretells His sufferings. To strengthen the faith of the disciples before the crucifixion, that they did not lose courage, gave them the opportunity to see the miracle. He leaves the apostles and the people, and with the closest disciples-Peter, James, and John up on mount Tabor. There Christ moved a little to the side to pray, while His disciples prayed and fell asleep.
After waking up, the apostles saw the Lord transfigured: His face shone like the sun, and clothes became as white as snow. Christ was not alone. To His right stood the prophet Moses, and on the left the prophet Elijah. With the Savior the prophets spoke of His upcoming suffering, death, and Resurrection.
When Peter saw this, he said: “it’s good here,” and offered to make three tabernacles (tents) for Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Before Peter could finish the sentence suddenly a cloud overshadowed the disciples, and he heard the voice of God the Father: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” Then the Lord went to the apostles, touched them and said that they stood and were not afraid. The disciples looked at Jesus Christ and saw that He again looked like a simple man. When coming down from the mountain, the Lord hath forbidden to speak of the miraculous Transfiguration until His Resurrection.
Everything that happens, according to legend, it was on mount Tabor. It’s a hill with a height of 588 metres near Nazareth. The light which the apostles saw during the Transfiguration, is supernatural in origin is the light of the Divine Nature. Interestingly, this Light has always been with Christ during his earthly life, and only on mount Tabor was slightly open this veil. And then only for selected students.
The Transfiguration is not only the revelation of Jesus Christ in His divine glory. It was the way of the future Transfiguration of man and the world. Enlightenment, Transfiguration, the theosis of man is the original plan of the Creator about His creation.
St. Macarius of Egypt said that in every man there is the Light. In the us there are more than very, very much. Christ has shown what we can achieve, showed inherent in us. As they say, what you have accomplished at least one person on earth that can reach everyone in the building. You can argue that Jesus was God, but examples of many saints, saints in Christianity, however, showed us that a lot is possible. They worked wonders, they shone with Uncreated Light, they are raised above the ground during prayer.
THE PATH OF SELF-RESTRAINT AND IMPROVEMENT
In God and with God we can do a lot. But you can answer that, God forbid, to cope with the troubles that you have. Unfortunately, many, like ants, running around on this sinful earth, looking only at his feet. From the troubles that surround us, we’re, alas, will not go away. But if you try to look up, to look inside ourselves, we see and feel many things, something to understand about themselves.
The word “transformation” is a calque from the Greek “metamorphosis” and literally “shape change”, the change itself. We initially programmed over to a permanent transformation, improving oneself on all levels (personal, professional, etc.). But for God the most important thing is our spiritual transformation, spiritual path. The path is hard. We are given opportunities, strength, talents, and the steps we make ourselves. It is a narrow path, the path of austerity. If you take the analogy, it is similar in sports to achieve their goals, the athlete itself limits regime, food, entertainment, and subsequently achieves something. Similar happens in other spheres: science, army, professional development. On the spiritual path, the Lord Himself says that the Kingdom of heaven is taken by effort, and there are no other options. This is the path of prayer, limitations, emotions, desires, a struggle with shortcomings and much more.
It may seem that in this way some difficulty, without joy. But, walking with God, there is another force, other “internal” joy, the soul is transfigured, given above help for your life. Many compare the path of spiritual advancement by climbing a mountain. To go up requires certain efforts, the stock of equipment. And it is easier to fall down the mountain (spiritual fall, just relaxing), but there is a purpose, and we go.
WHERE FOLK TRADITIONS
“A few words about folk customs, — continues the story of father George. — The feast of the Transfiguration referred to as “Apple Spas”. Even in Hebrew times was a pious custom in the temple to consecrate grown. On holiday we take apples, pears, grapes and dedicate them in the temple. The Church prays to the Lord to partake of the fruits bestowed the sanctification of the soul together with the blessing of the body. Keep their life in peace and joy for the fruits richly multiplied. The Church of Christ, blesses and sanctifies the fruits of the Holy name of God in Trinity, and sprinkled Holy water.”
THE OPINION OF THE LORD: “WALK IN THE LIGHT”
“Transfiguration… What a lovely and solemn word! And what a wonderful state is transferred by that word. — admonishes the vicar of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Archbishop Pavel. — In the gospel event which we will celebrate on Saturday, August 19, once and for all this a perfect transformation — enlightenment human flesh with a light of heavenly origin.
I would like to recall the words of the Apostle Paul in Second Corinthians: “but We all, with open face as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord spirit.” Every rational creature (angel and man), allying with the ever-living Light, illuminated, illumined Them. So, God-seer Moses in conversation with God at Sinai, so enlightened by the divine light that his face was a blaze and after Sinai. He was forced since then to wear a veil. And how many saints, ascetics saw not only the glory of God, but they themselves were partakers and bearers of the Divine light on mount Tabor! St. Seraphim of Sarov and St. Sergius of Radonezh was awarded numerous visits of the Mother of God and the illumination of celestial light. Spodobivka insight over and being in the Light they enlightened all who come to him in faith.
The light of Christ now shines on every man that cometh into the world, enlightening his mind, heart, will and desire. The light of Christ is available to everyone. Christ came into the world to illuminate the thorny path of human journey. The path that leads to the mansions of light and bliss in the Kingdom of heaven. The light of Christ transforms a person. How much more elevated and preslava the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the source and fullness of light, manifested now in Favor.
The Lord showed that transformed all of our human nature, remember the Favor even clothing became white and then estoni cleansed from all that is unworthy in man and man that can not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, dear readers, and Transformation — celebration of the soul and renewal, a celebration of light and love. We all have the opportunity and can be updated in the sacraments of baptism, penance, communion of the Divine Mysteries of Christ. The man and his deep faith, patience, meekness, and love brings all to this way of life, and we see even in our time, the transformation of man. We look at the faces of those people who really serve God, and admire the light emanating from them: the light of mind, shining eyes, understanding neighbor. And say, “God, this is really shining man.” Everything is possible, we just need to want it and to leave the ways of sin”.