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The Transfiguration by Fra Angelico Detail

Five Things To Keep in Mind for the Feast of the Transfiguration

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration!

In light of this significant feast, here are five things to keep in mind and reflect on as you go through your day:

1) While the Transfiguration was not the first time that Jesus was announced as the Son of God (that would be His baptism), it is significant in that God’s words, “listen to him”, established Jesus as the direct connection between God and man. The presence of Moses and Elijah reinforced this: these holy men reside in heaven, but were present on the mountaintop through the glory of Jesus.


The Transfiguration by Fra Angelico
The Transfiguration by Fra Angelico

2) Jesus’ Transfiguration is a sign of our own hope of Heaven. While Moses was long dead and Elijah taken into heaven many years before, their appearance with Jesus on the mountaintop shows us that God’s promise of eternal life remains.


Transfiguration by Raphael


3) Just as the Transfiguration was a measure taken by God to strengthen the Apostles’ faith in the days before the Passion, it remains a lesson to us today to be firm in our own faith in anticipation of the Kingdom of God.


Feast of the Transfiguration


4) Moses and Elijah were present, but in secondary roles. While they represent the Law and the Prophets, respectively, their places during the Transfiguration signify that even the old Law must step aside for the Son of God, and the Prophets’ messages were pointing at Christ’s Passion and new covenant.


Yuraslov Icon of the Transfiguration from the 15th Century


5) The fleeting nature of the Transfiguration is a lesson to us, to focus on what matters most in God’s teachings. Instead of attempting to live in the present moment, we should look forward to and prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of Heaven—as Peter, James, and John were meant to use the Transfiguration to prepare themselves for Christ’s coming sacrifice.


Basilica of the Transfiguration in Israel

Basilica of the Transfiguration in Israel


6) Bonus thought: In the Orthodox churches, the Feast of the Transfiguration is traditionally a time of blessing for grapes! Read more about it. (not our site)


For more information and meditations on the Transfiguration, plus much more of the life of Christ, Aquinas and More recommends Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Emeretus Benedict XVI.

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