August 2021 English Newsletter Posted August 2, 2021 by admin


My Beloved the benevolent                                   

Grace and peace wishing every goodness and blessing

On August 19 (Mesore 13th), the Church celebrates a major and important feast, the Feast of the Transfiguration. The Feast of the Transfiguration always comes during the Fast of the Virgin St. Mary (August 7th-22nd (Mesore 1st-16th)) and is prayed with the joyful tune and without abstinence fasting.

The Feast of the Transfiguration is of theological importance. The Son of God, the Logos, emptied Himself and came in the form of a human being and of a servant; but on the Feast of the Transfiguration, He revealed the glory of His Divinity.  As the Bible says, “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.” Mk 9:2-4.  The Transfiguration confirmed the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ – to Him is all glory – and also confirmed that the goal of the Holy Bible with its events and prophecies, is Christ.   The appearance of Elijah and Moses representing the prophets (the law), and Christ being in the middle confirms what the Book of Revelations says, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Rev. 19:10. The Holy Spirit reveals to us in the Gospel of St. Luke the subject of Moses and Elijah’s conversation with the Lord Jesus, “And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” Lk 9:30-31. The meaning of His “decease, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem” is the cross, because the center and purpose of the incarnation of the Son of God is salvation through the cross for the redemption of humanity.

The Feast of the Transfiguration is an important feast that reveals to us the divinity of Christ and the purpose of His mission and opens the door of hope for humanity to see His glory.

Jesus chose three of His disciples, Peter, James, and John, to see His glory. St. Peter affirmed this in his second Epistle, “For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” 2 Pet. 1:17-18.

My beloved,

We are called to see the glory of Christ. Therefore, we must ascend to the holy mountain; that is, to rise above the desires and lusts of the world, in order to ascend to the high mountains. In the Liturgy of the Feast of the Transfiguration, the church chose Psalm 87, “His foundation is in the holy mountains. The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. And of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her; and the Most High Himself shall establish her.” Ps. 87:1-2, 5.

The meaning in our spiritual lives of “Ascending to the high mountains to witness the glory of Christ” is as follows:

  • Caring about what is above and not what is on the earth:

As St. Paul says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Col. 3:1-3.  Let us ascend with our minds to the high mountains. That the mind soar in the heavenly matters, that we care about our eternity and our lives with Christ, and leave the earthly interests.

  • Confirmation in Christ:

Christ has granted us to eat his Holy Body and drink His Precious Blood so that we can live and be confirmed in Him, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.” Jn. 6:56-57. Being confirmed in Christ requires continuous repentance, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” 1Cor. 11:28-29.

  • Seeing the glory of Christ in doing good:

Doing good and helping those in need is an important way to meet Christ and see His glory. The Lord Christ, in His sermon about the day of judgment, said that we will be judged on our good deeds and true love for others. “Then the king will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ …… And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Mt. 25:34-36, 40.

Service to the needy allows the person who loves to do good to meet Christ on earth in the person of his brethren, and to have a share in eternal glory. Let us hasten in doing good deeds to see the glory of Christ here on earth and be with Him always in His eternal kingdom.  And may God bless your offerings to support Santa Verena Charity programs.

Metropolitan Serapion