On The Feast Of The Transfiguration

The man who studies ancient Greek and Roman mythology will find transfigurations relatively common events. Zeus is transfigured before Semele. Demeter’s transfiguration confirms her divinity and originates her cult. Athena is transfigured throughout the Odyssey. Of course, when Greek gods were transfigured, they typically either disappeared immediately thereafter, or else the transfiguration destroyed the spectators. The gods were given to departing as soon as they revealed themselves for who they were because it was assumed men would not want them around, or else the divine-human relationship would become strained. Either way, transfigurations were occasion for embarrassment, not awe.

It is something of a novelty, historically speaking, when Christ is transfigured on Mt. Tabor, his disciples are not destroyed, and when the event is concluded, God and man simply walk back down the mountain and resume their lives once more.

Within Christian mythology, God and man are at peace with one another. The revelation of God to man does not destroy him, but completes him. Power is not a thing to be embarrassed about, but a gift to be transferred to the powerless.

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