Thursday, August 05, 2010

The mystery of light par excellence

Master of St Severin from Mariawald, Germany, 1500-1549
The Transfiguration 1500-1549
Stained glass panel in red, blue, maroon, green and white, grisaille and yellow stain
28.25 in x 27.875 in
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Transfiguration is one of the "Luminous Mysteries" of the Rosary

The Transfiguration is memoralised tomorrow not only in the Western Church but also the Eastern Church

In introducing the "Luminous Mysteries", Pope John Paul II said:

"[The Luminous Mysteries] may be called in a special way “mysteries of light”. Certainly the whole mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. He is the “light of the world” (Jn 8:12). Yet this truth emerges in a special way during the years of his public life, when he proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom. ...

Each of these [Luminous] mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus ...

The mystery of light par excellence is the Transfiguration, traditionally believed to have taken place on Mount Tabor. The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the astonished Apostles to “listen to him” (cf. Lk 9:35 and parallels) and to prepare to experience with him the agony of the Passion, so as to come with him to the joy of the Resurrection and a life transfigured by the Holy Spirit."

(Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 16th October 2002)

The Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor is described in the Gospels of Matthew (17: 1-9), Mark (9:2-9) and Luke (9:27-36).

Christ appears in his divine form to his disciples Peter, John and James: "....his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him....and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son.... And when the disciples heard it, they prostrated themselves...."(Matt. 17:2-6).