The callous hearer may easily ask himself, upon hearing the glorious gospel of the Transfiguration, “What’s the point? Why should it matter to me that Christ shone with heavenly light, the Father spoke, and the cloud of the Spirit’s presence enveloped them? Who cares?” A preacher, if he cares at all how his hearers are taking in his message, must always answer the question “So what?” for his hearers. The “so what?” of each sermon text is where it applies best for the Christian’s faith and day-to-day life. People can tell if it’s missing, but if it’s there, that’s good preaching. Leo the Great addresses this question of “So what?” promptly in his homily on Our Lord’s Transfiguration, and in the process gives great insight and comfort for us who follow after his day:

And in this Transfiguration the foremost object was to remove the offence of the cross from the disciple’s heart, and to prevent their faith being disturbed by the humiliation of His voluntary Passion by revealing to them the excellence of His hidden dignity.  But with no less foresight, the foundation was laid of the Holy Church’s hope, that the whole body of Christ might realize the character of the change which it would have to receive, and that the members might promise themselves a share in that honour which had already shone forth in their Head.  About which the Lord had Himself said, when He spoke of the majesty of His coming, “Then shall the righteous shine as the sun in their Father’s Kingdom (S. Matt. xiii. 43.),” whilst the blessed Apostle Paul bears witness to the self-same thing, and says:  “for I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the future glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. viii. 18.):”  and again, “for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  For when Christ our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory (Col. iii. 3.).”

(Leo the Great, A Homily delivered on the Saturday before the Second Sunday in Lent—on the Transfiguration, S. Matt. xvii. 1–13)

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