August 6, 2019

The Prophets and Apostles Shared a Mutual Vision at the Transfiguration

By Sergei V. Bulgakov

Together with the Apostles two of the greatest men of the Old Covenant appeared before the transfigured Lord - Moses and Elijah. "One died," in the expression of St. John Chrysostom, "and the other still had not tasted death", appeared to show that "Christ has authority over life and death and rules over Heaven and earth." Their appearance on the Mount of Transfiguration likewise bore witness that the transfigured Master is the God of the living and the dead, the Creator and Fulfiller of the law and the prophets. "The Prophets and the Apostles gathered on the mount were filled with joy," observes St. Ephraim the Syrian, "the Prophets rejoiced for they have beheld here His humanity which they did not see before; the Apostles rejoiced for they beheld here the glory of His Divinity which before they had not understood. They stood before the Lord as ministers, and looked at one another, Prophets at Apostles and Apostles at Prophets. There they mutually extended to themselves the sights of the prototypes of the Old and New Covenants. Thus, the mount represents the Church itself because Jesus united in it the two covenants accepted by the Church and has shown that He is the Giver of both."