Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Father Makes Known His Son

'Simon Peter said: "Lord, it is good for us to be here!" What on earth are you saying, Peter? If we stay here who will bring to pass the prophecies of the prophets? Who will confirm the words of the heralds? Who will bring to completion the mysteries of the righteous? If we stay here, in whom will these words be fulfilled: "They pierced my hands and my feet"? To whom will the following be applied: "They shared my garments among them, cast lots for my robe"? (Ps 22[21], 17,19; Jn 19,24). Who will bring to pass the declaration of the Psalm: "For food they gave me poison and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink"? (69[68],22; Mt 27,34; Jn 19,29). Who will live out the statement: "Freed among the dead"? (Ps 87,6 Heb.) How will my promises be carried into effect, how will my Church be built?

And again Peter said: "Let us make here three tents : one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah". Sent to build the Church in the world, Peter wants to set up three tents on the mountain. As yet he only sees Christ as a man, he sets him on a level with Moses and Elijah. But Jesus will very soon show him he has no need of a tent. He was the one who, for forty years, set up a covering of cloud for the Fathers while they were dwelling in the wilderness (Ex 40,34).

"But while they were still speaking a bright cloud covered them with its shadow". Now, Simon, do you see this tent set up so effortlessly? This bright and shining tent dispels the heat without consisting of darkness! While the disciples still stood amazed, the Father's voice was heard from the cloud: "This is my Son, the Beloved, in whom is all my delight; listen to him!"... The Father was teaching the disciples that Moses' mission had been fulfilled: from now on they must listen to the Son . On the mountain the Father revealed to the apostles what was still hidden from them: "He who is" reveals "He who is" (Ex 3,14), the Father makes known his Son.'

-Saint Ephrem the Syrian

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