Last Epiphany, Year C: Brighter Than the Noonday Sun

SUNDAY’S READINGS | February 27, 2022

Ex. 34:29-35
Ps. 99
2 Cor. 3:12-4:2
Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a)

Not long before his betrayal, arrest, abuse, scourging, and crucifixion, our Lord Jesus Christ was transfigured upon the holy mountain. As with every event in the life of Christ, our lives are implicated. “Beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may we be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory” (Collect). God is at work in our living and dying, suffusing us with the light and glory of Christ.

Altering St. John by one word, but not his meaning: “From his [blazing] fullness we have all received grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Having received the light of Christ, we are bold to accept the solemn promise of Christ: “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16). Though bearing the light of Christ, we do so in a manner that is neither boastful nor arrogant. We are not the one true light but shine as witnesses to the light (John 1:8). “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory” (Ps. 115:1).

Moses, the great friend of God, “came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. … The Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of his face was shining” (Ex. 34:29, 35).

So glorious and luminous a sight frightened the Israelites, and they were afraid to come near Moses. And yet a light even more brilliant has been poured into our hearts. “All of us,” says St. Paul, “with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).

Standing in the light that Christ is, we hear a voice saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” The words transmute in us, speaking to the deepest center of our being: “You are my Child, my Chosen!” As children of Christ, we are children of the light.

By adoption and grace, we are the light that Jesus is by nature.

Splendor of paternal glory,
bringing light from light,
light of light and font of light,
day giving light to day.

(Hymn for Lauds)

Jesus is the day of true light, and the beginning of every day is an occasion again to welcome the Son of Righteousness who deigns to be among us and shine within us.

In whose most glorious light
the midday becomes darkness
let us take within our breast
the grace of such splendor.

(Hymn for Sext)

Bathe in the light brighter than the midday sun, Christ Jesus our Lord.

Look It Up: Psalm 36:9

Think About It: In your light we see light.

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