The Transfiguration: The Gospel, the Law and the Prophets


transfiguration Gospel Law Prophets

by St. Augustine of Hippo

We heard, as the Gospel was read, the story of the great vision in which the Lord showed himself to three disciples, Peter and John and James.

“His face shone like the sun”

– this means the splendor of the Gospel.

“His clothes became as white as snow”

– that is to say, the purification of the Church, about which the Prophet said:

“Though your sins be red like crimson, I will make them white as snow” (Isaiah 1.18 ).

Moses and Elijah were talking with him, for the grace of the Gospel receives the witness of the Law and the Prophets. For Moses, one understoods the Law; for Elijah, the Prophets are meant. Peter suggested that they build three tents, one for Moses and one for Elijah, one for Christ. He liked the solitude of the mountain; he was bored of the tumult of human affairs. But why did he wish to make three tents? Did he not know that the Law, the Prophets and the Gospel come from the same origin? In fact he was corrected by the cloud.

“As he said this a bright cloud overshadowed them.”

So the cloud made one tent, so why would you want three? And a voice from the cloud said,

“This is my beloved Son: heed him” (Mt17.1 to 8).

Elijah speaks, but “listen to him.” Moses speaks, “but listen to him.” Prophets speak, the Law speaks, but “heed him”, the voice of the Law and the tongue of the Prophets. It was he who spoke through them, and then he spoke by himself, when he deigned to be manifested. “Hear him,” listen to him.

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When the Gospel spoke, know who was the voice of the cloud; from there, it came to us. We hear him; do what he tells us. Let us hope what he promises.



The Transfiguration: Gospel Law Prophets

About Fr. John A. Peck

Director of the Preachers Institute, priest in the Orthodox Church in America, award-winning graphic designer and media consultant, and non-profit administrator.
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