Confirm Your Divine Calling
“Be more zealous to confirm your call and election,” advised Saint Peter in today’s Epistle reading for the Feast of our Lord’s Transfiguration. And what exactly is our call in life? What have we been elected for? This is not simply a call to whatever profession we do; it is not simply some temporary, earthly calling. Our call in life is something much greater!
Our call is connected to the feast of the Transfiguration we celebrate today! In the Gospel story of today, we see how Jesus Christ revealed to his closest disciples, Peter, James and John, who He truly is – “I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the One who is, who was, and who is to come, the Lord Almighty.” Every time we walk in this church, look up at the Pantocrator icon and see the Lord Almighty, the Great I AM looking down at you, and remember who Jesus is!
After three years of traveling with Jesus of Nazareth, listening to His teachings, seeing the way He transcended the laws of nature through His miracles, and coming to deeply know Him, Peter finally proclaimed on behalf of all the apostles, “You are the Messiah, the Anointed One of Israel, the long awaited Christ and King of Israel!”
Yet even this proclamation doesn’t mean the disciples fully understand who Christ Jesus is. That is why our Lord proceeds to reveal His Divine Majesty in the most spectacular manner. As Peter writes in his epistle, “We were eyewitnesses of His majesty when he received honor and glory from God the Father; we heard the voice from heaven of the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,"
During an all-night vigil of prayer on Mount Tabor, the disciples see Christ’s heavenly glory when Jesus becomes brighter than the sun, radiating the uncreated and eternal light of God. This prophet Jesus of Nazareth, this Messiah of Israel, is no great king of Israel like a King David or King Solomon. He is nothing less than the Eternal God Almighty come as a human being. And to confirm this unbelievable reality, two of the greatest prophets in the history of Israel, Moses and Elijah, stand with Christ in His glory and confirm He is the fulfillment of all the Jewish Law and Prophets!
Saint Peter goes on to say “Pay attention to this new revelation as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” Pay attention so that we can “escape from the corruption [and deception] in the world and become partakers of His divine nature.”
Pay attention – your calling in life is to partake of divinity, to become one with God, to become united with Him and united in Him, to allow His Spirit to abide in us so that we can overcome the darkness and all the temptations of this fallen world and live out our divine calling!
“Be zealous to confirm your call and election.”
Yet, how do we pursue this calling? By realizing that our main pursuit in life isn’t about seeking after the earthly and temporary treasures of life. Our main pursuit in life shouldn’t be about our worldly cares here and now. Yes, we live in the world and must take care of our needs in this world, but always remember we are not simply a part of this animal world living in this temporary world. We are called to something greater, much more glorious, something eternal.
How do we fulfill this calling? By trying to live each day by allowing Jesus Christ to be at the center of our lives. We begin each day connecting with God through prayer but then we invite Christ to continue to be a part of everything we do throughout every day – in our homes, in our relationships and with our families, in our work, in our hobbies and in our past time activities. We learn to see Christ everywhere and allow Him to be presently active in all we do.
We cultivate the habit to “practice the presence of God” everywhere and at all times. We never allow ourselves to forget that in every moment of each day, God is present and we consciously invite Him to be actively involved in all we do, in all we say, in all we feel, and in how we act. This means that we have a constant dialogue with Him, we are in constant communion with Him, and our prayer becomes unceasing because we are constantly talking with Him and trying to connect to Him.
Our lives will be transfigured and changed, and we will become partakers of our Lord’s Divine nature, when we learn never to compartmentalize our faith and life by putting Jesus in a tiny compartment of our lives which we visit only every so often, maybe every Sunday morning for one hour or during a few minutes of prayer each day. Destroy the compartments of your life and create one reality, where Christ is everywhere, present at all times in our daily lives.
Become partakers of the Divine Nature by being a part of God throughout every moment of the day!
Thus, today as we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord on Mount Tabor, remember that we are celebrating the revelation of who Jesus of Nazareth truly is, the Almighty God who radiated the uncreated light of the Eternal One, but also remember the invitation for each one of us to also be transfigured, for each of us to be changed and transformed as we fulfill the divine potential that God has placed in us.
Let us be zealous to confirm this call and to fulfill the election that God has given us!
A blessed feast day to all!
IN WHOM DO WE TRUST?
Our Orthodox Faith
Spirituality: The Meaning of Theosis As the Goal of Christian Life