ONE SOURCE OF LIGHT, MANY CHANNELS
“You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, / revealing Your glory to Your disciples as far as they could bear it. / Let Your everlasting Light also shine upon us sinners, / through the prayers of the Theotokos. / O Giver of Light, glory to You!” (Troparion or main hymn of the Feast of Transfiguration)
In this hymn of the great feast of Transfiguration, celebrated today by those of us on the Old(er) Calendar, Christ is mentioned as the Giver of Light. As One of the Holy Trinity, He is the one Source of Light, and of all that is good.
Others are also mentioned in this hymn, who are channels, though not sources, of His light: 1.) The disciples (Peter, James, and John), who were with Him on the mountain, and received the grace of God’s uncreated energies, “as far as they could bear it,” when they were manifested in His unexpected and glorious Transfiguration; 2.) “We sinners” are mentioned, as we also become recipients of God’s grace, with the help of those who were vessels of His Light before us, most notably, 3.) the Theotokos, upon Whom the Holy Spirit descended in a unique way, well before He shared His energies with anyone else.
So the feast of Transfiguration celebrates our mystical unity in the Body of Christ, which is realized in the sharing and passing on of grace, of which He is the One Source. His light is received in different ways by each of the members of the Body of Christ, “as far as they can bear it.” Today I humbly ask that I not be left out, by the incessant prayers of the Theotokos. And I send up glory to the One who makes us all channels of His light, through one another. “O Giver of Light, glory to You!”