Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ

Archbishop Seraphim : Homily
Transformed by Christ’s Love
Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ
6 August, 2010
[Given outside of the Archdiocese]
2 Peter 1:10-19 ; Matthew 17:1-9


In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Peter is reminding us today that what we are celebrating is not something that is invented. He is an eyewitness to the Event of the Transfiguration. It is important for us to remember that this is a real Event witnessed by real people. I say this because in these days there are so many people who are trying to reduce Christ to a philosophical principle or an idea. Because of all these ideas, it is easy enough for many people to be led astray from the Truth. The Apostles Peter, James and John were eyewitnesses to the Event of the Transfiguration today. The apostle says that they received their faith by revelation from God.

On this occasion, the Father says : “‘This is My beloved Son’”. Our Lord is showing us Who He is. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is shining with uncreated light today before us. He is shining in His love for us. When we are encountering Christ, who is revealed to us as the Son of God, we are encountering God, and we are encountering Love. In their way, the apostles were transfigured as is our Saviour, because their lives were completely changed by their encounter with Him. Today, even though they are falling on their faces, they are set free from fear by His love. They become extremely strong persons in Christ. These men become an irresistible force in the Roman Empire. In the love of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the encounter with Christ spread everywhere in the Roman Empire. It spread to this country as well by the same apostolic activity.

This country, Romania, is particularly blessed by this apostolic foundation. Unlike many other countries, you have a continuous inheritance from the Apostle Andrew. From the apostle, you have inherited the true Faith of Jesus Christ from your ancestors. Because of this, I believe that you people of Romania have a responsibility to the rest of the Orthodox Church in being faithful to Jesus Christ as your ancestors have been faithful to Jesus Christ. In allowing Jesus Christ to shine through you, as He has shone through your ancestors, you are helping Orthodox Christians in other parts of the world simply by your faithfulness.

In North America, Orthodox Christians are very few in number (perhaps 1.5 per-cent of the population). There, it is very difficult to persevere in the Orthodox Faith because of the small numbers. We are actually only at the beginning of our Orthodox way there. However, when people such as I come here to Romania, we are encouraged to persevere because we can see the fruit of your perseverance in the love of Jesus Christ. We experience the love of Jesus Christ in you. We also understand to some small degree the martyrdom of so many people in the past 100 years for the sake of Jesus Christ. Because you are faithful to Christ, it gives us the strength and the hope to be faithful to Christ also.

The Lord in His love unites us and He strengthens us all. He is asking us all to shine with His love. Let us ask the Mother of God to direct us in the way of her Son so that in everything in our lives, whether in this country or abroad, we will together be able to glorify our Saviour, Jesus Christ, together with the unoriginate Father, and the all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages.