Christ, great high prince and leader of the shepherds,
Wishing to laud this holy pastor’s feast day
With sacred music, we acclaim his honor
singing due praises.
As once you gave the care of sheep to Peter,
So that the world might be a holy sheepfold,
So this good shepherd, raised to highest honor,
Pastures your people.
He was a guide and pattern for the sheepfold,
Light for the blind, and solace for the weary,
Good to each person, providential father–
All things to all men
Christ, who in heaven render to the holy
Crowns for their merits, help us then to follow,
That with this teacher, we may be obedient
And rise to heaven.
May equal honor celebrate the Father,
And You, O Savior, loving King forever,
And may the glory of the Holy Spirit,
Sound the world over.
From a homily on the Transfiguration by Pope St. Leo the Great
This marvel of the transfiguration contains another lesson for the apostles, to strengthen them and lead them into the fullness of knowledge. Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets, appeared with the Lord in conversation with him. This was in order to fulfil exactly, through the presence of these five men, the text which says: Before two or three witnesses every word is ratified. What word could be more firmly established, more securely based, than the word which is proclaimed by the trumpets of both old and new testaments, sounding in harmony, and by the utterances of ancient prophecy and the teaching of the Gospel, in full agreement with each other?
The writings of the two testaments support each other. The radiance of the transfiguration reveals clearly and unmistakably the one who had been promised by signs foretelling him under the veils of mystery. As Saint John says: The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the one who teaches the truth of the prophecy through his presence, and makes obedience to the commandments possible through grace.
In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No one should be ashamed of the cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.
No one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice; no one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in him and in our love for him, we win the victory that he has won, we receive what he has promised.
When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears: This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him.