In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, one God, Amen.
“Lord,” we cry out here at the Divine Liturgy, “it is well that we are here.” For we have done a good thing: we have risen from our slumber and journeyed to Church, we have left aside the cares of this life and come forward to have a meeting, an encounter, with the Lord. We have joined ourselves together as the Assembly of the Lord and are eager to receive him: “Lord, it is well that we are here.”
When we have an encounter with the Lord we want to hold on to it, to grasp it, to take it with us as our treasure. But this is not what we are to do: as to the Equal-to-the-Apostles Mary Magdalene he says to us, “Do not cling to me.” (John 20:17) And this is precisely what Peter is trying to do, to cling to the Lord, to the moment, to the vision: “if you wish,” says he, “I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Which is to say,
Lord, this is the Kingdom: let us dwell here on the mountain. That of which you have told us, that you ‘must go to Jerusalem, suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised on the third day,’ (Matthew 16:21) need not happen. Let us stay with you here.
Because, dear brothers and sisters, the Apostle Peter had not yet come to know the Cross is essential for our salvation, the Cross stands at the centre of our Faith, the Cross is the means by which we may come to life in its fulness. And so the Apostle Peter, as we heard a few moments ago, was able to tell us, writing decades later,
be more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
And I turn to myself and I say to myself, “Lord, it is well that I am here,” and the Apostle calls back to me, “be zealous to confirm your call and election.” Because our gathering here today, if it is only a self-congratulatory meeting, would be an assembly of evildoers. The Lord is saying to you and he is saying to me,
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.Matthew 28:18–20
Let this be our calling, our vision, our commission. Let us not be satisfied to remain here on Mount Tabor but journey together with Christ and his Disciples to Jerusalem, to Golgotha, to the Cross, to Death. To journey on to the Tomb and Life. And then, having experienced the Resurrection of the Son of Man to tell all of this vision we ourselves have witnessed.
“Lord, it is well that we are here.”
So there will be richly provided for us an entrance into the Eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom belongs all glory, honour and might, together with his Unoriginate Father and the All-holy, Good and Life-giving Spirit. Amen.
BRETHREN, be more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore I intend always to remind you of these things, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to arouse you by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. And I will see to it that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, ” we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
— 2 Peter 1:10–19
At that time, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking, when lo, 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.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.”
— Matthew 17:1–9