Suffering and Glory in Transfiguration

It is quite stunning that the Transfiguration of our Lord and the Crucifixion share so many parallels. In liturgical churches, Transfiguration Sunday is followed by the Lenten Season. Indeed, there is great beauty in the liturgical order of the Church: it reflects the liturgical order of Scriptures. David Garland summarizes these parallels:

“Jesus is surrounded by two celebrated saints of old; on the cross he will be surrounded by two criminals. . . . On the mount of transfiguration, Jesus’ garments glisten in his glory; at Golgotha, his garments have been taken from him in his humiliation. . . . In both scenes, there is mention of Elijah . . . and of great fear at divine manifestations. . . . In the first, Jesus is confessed as the son of God by a divine voice; in the second, by his executioners, Roman soldiers. . . . Both scenes are witnessed by his followers: the first by the inner circle of disciples; the second, by women from afar. These parallels reveal that, for Matthew, Jesus’ suffering and glory can be seen properly only as two sides of the same coin.”

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