August 11, 2022

Homily Four on the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1953)

In the great first chapter of the Gospel of John we read about God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

What life? There is a life that can only be called existence, vegetative life, and a huge number of people live such a life. There is no light in it, true light, but only a faint twilight sort of light.

There is a life completely devoid of light, a life full of darkness. In such darkness live all whoremongers, lechers, drunkards, who serve passions and lusts.

There is a life in which there is not only no light, but bloody darkness. This is the life of thieves, robbers, bandits.

And in the Lord Jesus Christ there was true life, a life of higher aspirations for goodness and truth, and this life is inextricably linked with the harmless light, the light of God.

It was no longer John the Theologian, but the Lord Jesus Himself who told us: “I am the Light of the world, whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

This harmless light is the Divine light, which people had to know. And on the great day of His Transfiguration, He showed Himself to the three chosen apostles with the shining light of the Divinity, so that they could testify to the world that He is the Father's radiance, the Gladsome Light of the holy glory of the Immortal Heavenly Father.

His Divinity was revealed to the world in the light of Tabor, that light that shines in the darkness was shown, and the darkness did not overcome it; the light that illuminates every person who comes into the world. “He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to his own, and his own did not accept him."

For this, of course, he is subject to judgment, the judgment will consist in the fact that "Light came into the world, but people loved darkness more than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).

Not all did not accept, but to those who accepted Him He gave the power to become children of God. To us, who loved Him with all our hearts, He gave this authority, made us “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people taken as inheritance, that we might proclaim the perfections of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). For us , “the night has passed, and the day has drawn near.”

“Let us therefore put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12).

The Apostle Paul said to the Ephesians who turned to Christ: “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8).

And if so, if the light of Christ has shone upon us, then we too, like bright stars, or at least as the weakest ones, should shine on the world that lives in darkness, with the light of our souls, with the light of truth and love, with the light of mercy and good deeds.

We must love Christ with all our hearts, always remembering, as the apostles, witnesses of the Transfiguration of Christ, who knew that His death was voluntary suffering for the salvation of the world, which did not know how to be reconciled with God, who did not know that “God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him” (1 John 1:5).

Let us look closely into our hearts and find out if the words of Christ do not apply to us: “See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness” (Luke 11:35).

And if we see at least a small darkness, then we will disperse it with the light of tearful repentance, and in the light of Christ we will see the true light. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.