sábado, 25 de fevereiro de 2012

The icon of the Transfiguration

1) In our text today we will have a different reading experience: Lectio divina is one from the icon of the Transfiguration . In the Eastern Church icons are understood as the word of God. So for them, the icon is not painted, but written by an iconographer who, after spending months pondering a biblical text, accompanied by fasting and prayer, write in (PT) on the wood.
This icon is attached Transfiguration Russian. It was acquired in Bethlehem in the Holy Land. He is a stunning beauty! Therefore, we do read the text along with the contemplation of the icon, verse by verse.
2) "Six days later Jesus took Peter, James and John, and brought them up to a secluded place, on top of a mountain, alone. There he was transfigured before them. "The term" six days "is linked to the profession of Peter at Caesarea Philippi, where he proclaims in the name of all the disciples:" You are the Christ "(Mark 8:29) . This connection wishes to express that the transfiguration is a moment of revelation of Jesus' identity.
The three disciples who witness the Transfiguration - Peter, James and John - are the same one they had seen two other episodes: the resurrection of Jairus' daughter (Mark 5, 21-43) and the moment of agony on the Mount of Olives (Mark 14, 32 -42). We can say that these three are the "chosen of the chosen" to be witnesses of these unique events.
Let us pass over the icon and we will find each of the three disciples. The talk will be the first of which St. James. He is the disciple who is at the center and uses a red robe that symbolizes the glory of martyrdom. He was the first of twelve to be martyred in the year 42 AD (Acts 12.2). The second apostle, who is on the right of St. James, St. Peter's: he has his arm extended as if to speak, for it is he who says, "is good, Lord, we are here, let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. "He also has a red cloak, symbolizing martyrdom. According to tradition he was martyred in AD 64 in Rome.
The third is St. John the Apostle is that he does not have the red cloak. It was the only one among the twelve that did not suffer martyrdom. His position in the icon is peculiar, because he's looking for Jesus transfigured. It is a deeply contemplative attitude. In the representation of animals of the apocalypse - who surround the throne of God (Revelation 4: 6-11) and, over time, have been identified as the evangelists - John is the eagle. To the ancients, the eagle was the only animal that could look directly into the sun. Thus, John was recognized as the great mystic, he could look directly at Jesus transfigured, He that is brighter than the sun and always has been hailed as the Sun of Justice. That is why John can say with propriety in his letter: "... God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" (I John 1: 1-5).
The high mountain, from the earliest days of Christianity, has been identified as Mount Tabor: an elevation of 588 meters, on the plain of Galilee. From there we have a beautiful view of the entire region. It is now built the Basilica of the Transfiguration, following the will of St. Peter, was built as if they were three tents: the nave is that of Jesus and the two side chapels are dedicated to Moses and Elijah, thus forming a set of three tents.
3) "His clothes became bright white as no fuller on earth could make it so." This verse, along with the last sentence of the verse do not comment past that - "There he was transfigured before them" - are the central image of the icon. Jesus briefly reveals his identity as the Son of God - that is her deepest identity - and the disciples realize this identity a mystery of light. The disciples see what Jesus said in John's gospel: "I am the light of the world." (Jn 8:12).
As we contemplate the icon, we realize that everything in it emanates light. There is a natural light like the sun, or artificial such as a lamp. It is the light of God's glory. In the Transfiguration, a window of heaven, of eternity opens and we can glimpse the light of eternal glory.
By focusing on two types of rays of light, the icon, emanate from Jesus: first, the radius green circular: the circle of truth which enlightens the human mind revealing the truth. Jesus himself also says: "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6). It also says, "know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (Jn 8:32). This is the way of contemplation of the truth which enlightens the human intellect and divine.
The second type of beam are represented by three reddish rays that descend toward the disciples. These rays are the color of the human heart, and infuse divine love in the hearts of the disciples. This is a contemplative journey of the heart, which deifies the human heart. We can even see a complementary symbolism in this, where these three rays are the three theological virtues: faith, hope and charity.
As we see this icon, we can dive into the deep mystery of God revealed in Jesus through the two great contemplative paths, which do not contradict but complement each other: the path of truth and the path of love. Complementarity is because love protects human intelligence of ideology, a theory which is unrealistic. And the truth protects the human heart sentimentality, which is a distortion of love.
4) "appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus." At a time when the heavens open window, two central characters of the Old Testament appear to confirm and bear witness to Jesus as the fullness of revelation. In the icon, we will realize that despite the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor happens, Moses and Elijah are portrayed in other mounds. This is a form of spiritual reading of the sacred text to show us that each of these characters had revelations from God a lot, but distinct from Mount Tabor.
Let's look at Moses. Icon, he is holding a book. This is the Law that Moses received on Mount Sinai (Ex 34). Moses is with the head tilted and pointing to the book of the law Jesus, showing that in Jesus, the Law is fulfilled and plenificada. On the other side is the prophet Elijah, who also made a pilgrimage to Mount Sinai (Horeb) and there is a profound encounter with God that will confirm his calling as a prophet (cf. I Kings 19). He has his hand pointed at Jesus and bowing their heads, showing that in Jesus, all the prophecies come true.
All this is wrapped in a profound dialogue of Jesus with Moses and Elijah. In Luke's gospel is revealed the contents of this dialogue, "spoke of his exodus that was committed in Jerusalem" (Luke 9:31). In other words, talked about the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus:
"Then Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, 'Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let's make three tents: one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. In fact, I did not know what to say because they were gripped with fear. "The disciples portrayed the icon lying on the ground reveal the sharp contrast experienced by them before so great revelation: at first the fear, which is by contact with the supernatural world. As we see, the Bible, happen to all those who had some form of contact with God, then have an experience of happiness, peace and joy as a form of participation of eternity. This makes Peter say, "good Lord, we are here."
The application of Peter to build three tents can be understood in a deeper way from the promise of God that pitch his tent in the midst of his people in Messianic times. So, Peter, who had recognized Jesus as the Christ, intuits that the messianic age had arrived (see the book "Jesus of Nazareth" Part 1 - Benedict XVI). Peter, well, you know that at the time of the Transfiguration happened what is said in the literal translation of the prologue of John's gospel: "the Word was made flesh and pitched his tent among us and we beheld his glory" (Jn 1: 14).
Down, then, a cloud, covering them with its shadow. And the cloud came a voice: "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him! "This is the climax of the scene unfolding. It is the Father's word that gives meaning to everything that is happening, when he says: "This is my beloved son. Listen to him! "All the facts, words and events serve as a frame for the Father's word can be understood and accepted with the force that is due. This is the central message: Jesus is the fullness of revelation, the beloved son of the Father is in him and through him and to him are all things. We can only know Jesus deeply when we contemplate his eternal relationship of love with the Father and this happens when we hear the words of Jesus recognizing that it is God who became flesh and pitched his tent among us.
The Movement of the Transfiguration are called to do this transfiguration experience of Jesus every time, through prayer, reading God's Word and the liturgy, we seek God's face. We are called to live a prayer deep, intense and contemplative to transfigure our lives. That through this prayer, the light of Christ we receive in our minds and our hearts can illuminate our thoughts and actions and thus spill over into all those around us.

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