RCL Year A Last Epiphany
Exodus 24:12-18, Psalm 2, II Peter 1:16-21, Saint Matthew 17:1-9

We begin with the first half verse of the Gospel: in your leaflet, you read, “Six days after Peter had acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God.” If you looked up this verse in a Bible, however, you would only find these words, “Six days later.”[1]

The difference is the leaflet is specifying and emphasizing the context of the Gospel today. A direction in the Prayer Book[2] permits and encourages this, and today the context of the Gospel is important, for the two events, tied together, reflect upon one another and suggest our way forward through Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.

The previous event, tied thematically and chronologically to the Gospel today, is known as the Confession of Saint Peter. It’s the event mentioned in the elaboration in the leaflet; namely, it is the event where Peter confesses that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”[3]

So, in these two events, taken together, show us, firstly, the principal disciple, the one who stands as the epitome of all the disciples, seeing Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God, and, secondly, leaders among the disciples, seeing Jesus robed with the glory of God, transfigured, with his face shining like the sun.

It is the face of Jesus, mentioned in the Epiphany Preface, that shines in our hearts, giving the knowledge of God’s “glory in the face of” God’s “Son Jesus Christ our Lord,”[4] that lights our path as we move into Lent and move into maturity in Christ.

That light lights our way, but it is more than external to us. It is more than what we receive from God. That light is who we are. That light is what we should do. The light is what believers in Jesus are to sow in healing, in encouragement, in blessing, and in love. We are to reflect that light in what we do and in what we are.

For that is the Christian life. We are to pass on, to confer to others, the blessings we have happily received. The Confession of Peter and the Transfiguration enlighten our path, and they show us the way. That light will set us aflame to tell the glory of the living God.

[1] Saint Matthew 17:1.

[2] The BCP, page 888.

[3] Saint Matthew 16:16.

[4] The BCP, page 378.