Pastor’s Thoughts

Feb 28, 2024

The painting of the Transfiguration is a rather large painting and has two sections an upper and a lower. The top section is all dazzling with bright white colors, splashing sky blue tones, and depicts Jesus suspended with His hands raised up being transfigured/changed. Moses, representing the OT law, is painted on one side and Elijah is painted on the other. Elijah represents all the OT prophets that foretold Jesus’ future coming. Peter, James and John are all laying on the ground right below Christ being blinded by Christ’s glorious transformation. They are in awe! The bottom portion of the Transfiguration painting gets slightly darker and tells another story from Matthew’s gospel just a few chapters after the glorious Transfiguration. This bottom section is painted in darker tones, figures are a bit distorted and the background is almost black unlike the dazzling white in the top of the painting. It’s the story of the young boy possessed by a demon. His father brings his young possessed boy in the story to the disciples for a healing but they are unable to do so. Why? It is because they lacked FAITH. Jesus gets quite angry at the disciples for their inability to heal the young boy and it is attributed to their doubt, despair, and lack of faith. Raphael paints this boy as the central figure in the darker bottom portion of the artwork. His eyes in his sockets are painted in an uncontrollable manner with his pupils looking straight up at Jesus almost in a fit of uncontrollable rage. The boy has one of his hands raised upwards toward Jesus being Transfigured hoping to be healed and the other hand pointing at the crowd in the darkened bottom half of the painting begging the question, WHO HERE CAN HEAL ME? Our lives can at times point towards a lack of understanding and faith. Think of times you just don’t know how to react, what to do, and where to turn in a desperate time of need. Often we look to Christ and the world around us and wonder who is there to help me? Questions like why me? Why my family, what not someone else are the indicative responses to our own often lack of faith. The Transfiguration painting of Jesus by Raphael shows us what we will YET become in the next life. In a way, it represents a promise that despite our lack of faith and understanding now, we must trust no matter how unsure we are and keep our eyes fixed on Christ. I share in the words of CS Lewis who said, “The Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”

Fr. Roach