Father Peter is away on Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but he keeps us close.
These are pictures from Mount Tabor, the mountain on which Jesus was Transfigured before His Disciples, Peter, James and John.
The Transfiguration is a pivotal moment, and the setting on the mountain is presented as the point where human nature meets God: the meeting place for the temporal and the eternal, with Jesus Himself as the connecting point, acting as the Bridge between Heaven and Earth.
At the Transfiguration, Jesus showed His glory as God, and thus confirmed St Peter’s recent confession of faith: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16: 16; cf. Mk 8: 29 and Lk 9: 20). In this way he also strengthened the Apostles’ faith in advance, to face his coming Passion and Death (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 555 and 568), which he had already begun to announce to them (cf. Mt 16: 21; Mk 8:31; and Lk 9: 22). The presence of Moses and Elijah is highly significant: both of them “had seen God’s glory on the Mountain; the Law and the Prophets had announced the Messiah’s sufferings” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 555). The Evangelists also tell that as Peter was still speaking, proposing to make three booths, “a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said,
‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him’”
(Mt 17: 5; cf. Mk 9: 7; and Lk 9: 34-35).
Commenting on this passage, some Fathers of the Church underline the difference between the representatives of the Old Testament – Moses and Elijah – and Christ: “They are my servants, this is my Son (…) I love them, but this is my Beloved: therefore, listen to him (…) Moses and Elijah spoke of the Christ, but they are servants like you; this is the Lord, listen to him” (St Jerome, Commentary on St Mark’s Gospel, 6).
The above image, is of the southern Chapel, it is decorated with a painting of the Prophet Elijah in his confrontation with the false prophets of Ba’al on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:16-45).
This final image is of northern Chapel, which is dedicated to Moses. In this painting, Moses holds the Tablets of the Law in his left hand; behind him is Mount Sinai and on the sides a large burning bush and a rock with water flowing from it (Exodus 17:6).
We will have more beautiful images from The Holy Land. Stay Tuned.