Dialogue of Fathers and Doctors of the Church on the Transfiguration of Jesus

St. Gregory the Great: Ah, my esteemed brethren and doctors, before today comes to an end, let us do a quick conversation of event of the Transfiguration of our Lord. This divine manifestation is a profound mystery that merits our contemplation.

St. Jerome: My brother Gregory the Great! It indeed merits our contemplation. Since you are named the great, I’ll suggest you take the lead.

St. Gregory the Great: Our adorable Bible scholar, Jerome, you’re my elder brother in the faith, besides you translated the Bible into Latin (Vulgate), you have a great knowledge of the Transfiguration. Please, tell us something about the Transfiguration, from your point, we shall reflect further.

St. Jerome: Okay, by the way, where is our renowned Ambrose? Please invite him to this conversation. While we wait for him, I’ll simply say that the Transfiguration is a pivotal moment in the life of Jesus, where He reveals His divine glory to His chosen disciples. It is a glimpse of the heavenly reality breaking into the earthly realm. Furthermore, the mystery of the Transfiguration reminds us of the eschatological hope that sustains our journey. In Christ, we find the fulfilment of all our longings and the assurance of eternal life.

St. Ambrose: Hmmm, this is deep! While I’m still digesting this, honourable scholar, I want to first appreciate you for inviting me to this conversation. I concur with you. This event holds deep theological significance as it reinforces Jesus’ identity as both fully human and fully divine. It mirrors the Incarnation, where the divine Word takes on human flesh.

St. John Chrysostom: Awesome! I overheard your dialogue and felt obliged to join. I see you guys are having a rich conversation on this great mystery. Please, Ambrose, my elder brother. Can you throw more light on your comment?

St. Ambrose: Oh, a Church Father has joined us, and this makes our conversation more interesting! In the transfiguration, we see the God the Son who assumed our human nature as the “Son of man” prophesied in the Book of Daniel, revealing his glory. This reflects deeply how the Transfiguration serves as a foretaste of the glorified state in heaven awaiting the faithful who are now the adoptive “sons and daughters of God” through baptism. It reminds us of our ultimate destiny, to share in the divine life and glory.

St. John Chrysostom: “Woah! Indeed, Ambrose, you are on point. When I call you my elder brother, it is for a reason; by the way, where is your son, Augustine? I’m missing his scholarly contribution. For me, I’ll simply add that the Transfiguration invites us to journey with Jesus up the mountain of holiness, where we, too, can be transformed by the grace of God.

St. Gregory the Great: Impressive, the Golden mouth! Tell us more…. The people of God on earth need that transformation.

St. John Chrysostom: The Transfiguration is a divine revelation meant to strengthen the faith of Peter, James, and John, who would later face the agony of Christ’s Passion. It is a glimpse of the future glory and a source of hope in the midst of trials.

St. Augustine: Precisely, Chrysostom. I’m here now, since you sent for me. On this topic of the Transfiguration, I’ll also add that the Transfiguration also echoes the theophanies of the Old Testament, such as Moses’ encounter with God on Mount Sinai. It shows the continuity of God’s salvific plan throughout history. Before anyone asks me to clarify more, lemme invite the Angelic doctor, Aquinas to explain these theophanies from the perspectives of the Old and New Covenant.

St. Thomas Aquinas: Dear brothers, it is true that Augustin highlights the Old Testament theophanies; I’ll simply add that the Transfiguration exemplifies the harmony of the Old and New Covenants. Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets, appear with Jesus, signifying their fulfilment in Christ.

St. Gregory the Great: Truer words and a profound insight, our dear Angelic Doctor! That in the midst of Moses and Elijah, the eternal Father’s voice was heard, proclaiming, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matthew 17:5), confirms Jesus’ unique role as the Saviour and the fulfilment of God’s promises of old.

St. Jerome: Clears throat… I’ve been enjoying this great conversation, and I must confess that I’ve learnt a lot from you guys. So, from all you have said (especially Augustin and Aquinas), it suffices to say that, with the Father’s voice, the Son’s glorious appearance, and the overshadowing presence of the cloud, which is the Shekinah glory – the Holy Spirit, the transfiguration, therefore, becomes a revelation of the Trinity.

St. Gregory the Great: Great discussion so far. Does anyone have anything to add from a different dimension?

St. Augustine: Of course, I was coming to that, dear Holy Father! I want to categorically state that the Transfiguration is not just a historical event but a call to personal transformation. It challenges us to allow Christ’s light to shine through us, radiating His love and truth to the world.

St. Thomas Aquinas: Augustine’s words ring true. As we contemplate the Transfiguration, let us strive to ascend the mountain of holiness through prayer, the Sacraments, and virtuous living.

St. Gregory the Great: Thanks for moving in this direction. I have written a lot on prayer life, and self-reflection, all of which can contribute to a contemplative approach to spirituality. On this note, I’ll add that we must also recognize the importance of silence and contemplation, just as the disciples experienced on that sacred mount. In moments of stillness, we open our hearts to encounter the living God.

St. Ambrose: And as we meditate on this event, may we be transfigured by the presence of Christ in our lives. Let us allow His light to penetrate our hearts and transform us into true disciples.

St. John Chrysostom: Amen, Ambrose. Let our hearts burn with love for Jesus, just as the disciples’ hearts burned within them on the road to Emmaus.

St. Augustine: (Feeling awesome) Before we conclude dear brothers, let us offer a prayer of gratitude for this profound revelation of our Lord’s divinity and a prayer for the grace to be transfigured by His love.

St. Thomas Aquinas: Agreed, Augustine. Let us pray together, invoking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who although was not on the mountain but stood at the foot of the Cross and witnessed her Son’s death, with a foresight and anticipation of the glory of His Resurrection.

St. Gregory the Great: Thank you so much dear brothers for contributing on this mystery. As we send our conversation to the Church on earth, we pray that the maternal care of our Blessed Mother would guide the faithful on their journey of faith, leading them all to contemplate the face of Christ and be transformed into His likeness at the end of time, just as we have been transformed. So that where we are, they too may be.

All: Amen.

Conclusion:

As we reflect on this rich dialogue among the Fathers and Doctors of the Church on the Transfiguration of Jesus, we are reminded of the profound mystery and theological significance of this event. The Transfiguration serves as a revelation of Jesus’ divine identity, a foretaste of our heavenly destiny, and an invitation to personal transformation. Let us heed the wisdom of these great saints and embrace the call to ascend the mountain of holiness, allowing Christ’s light to shine through us and radiate His love to the world. May we be transfigured by His grace, so that we may reflect His glory to all those we encounter. Let us journey with Him in prayer, silence, and virtuous living, guided by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. May the Transfiguration of Jesus inspire us to walk in the light of His love and strive for holiness in our daily lives. Amen.

KINDLY CLICK HERE FOR THE DIALOGUE OF SOME HEAVENLY THEOLOGIANS ON THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Shalom!
Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo, Brazil
nozickcjoe@gmail.com / fadacjay@gmail.com

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Have you prayed your rosary today?

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Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. More about him here.

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Ifunanya Anekwe
Ifunanya Anekwe
8 months ago

This is fantastic. Thank you, Fr for your different dimensions in feeding us with the Word.

Gladys Ikhuoriah
Gladys Ikhuoriah
8 months ago

Today is transfiguration Sunday of Jesus Christ, his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light( Matt.17:1-9). May the light of Christ in us shine out and may it shine over every darkness around us and our families in Jesus name, amen.

ChrisMarie
ChrisMarie
8 months ago

This is awesome

Titilayo Ogbor
Titilayo Ogbor
8 months ago

Thank you Father, am indeed blessed with this write up. God bless you richly Amen

Ije-Amaka
Ije-Amaka
8 months ago

Beautiful summary on the transfiguration!!

Thank you padre

Chris Onyegbule
Chris Onyegbule
5 months ago

Mary was the first confessor of the faith because she lived her whole life professing her faith in God “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And putting the Word of God into practice to the extent that she suffered grievously on account of her faith in Christ at the Calvary. May Our Mother Queen of confessors intercede for us to God answer our prayers through Christ Our Lord Amen and Amen.

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