No Guts, No Glory

Whenever I reflect on the splendor and majesty of the Most High, I cannot but get down on my knees in profound adoration of the One sitting on the throne. The Prophet Daniel had a vision of His glory and attempted to describe His form and magnificence. He called Him “the Ancient of Days.” This same title is rendered in the book of Revelation as “Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come” (1:8). Relating to the nomenclature, some theologians call Him the “Eternal Now,” drawing equally from the Lord’s description of Himself to Moses, “I am who I am” (Exd. 3:14).


The vision of Daniel also reveals that God is incredibly pure, without alloy, without blemish: “His rope was white as snow and the hair of his head as pure as wool.” Moses, who also encountered God, described Him thus, “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness without iniquity, just and upright is He.”

His presence inspires trepidation. According to Daniel, “His throne was a blaze of flames; its wheels were a burning fire. A stream of fire poured out of his presence.” God is an awe-inspiring Being, who uses fire to wrap and identify Himself. According to Psalm 29:7, “His voice flashes forth flames of fire,” and Psalm 97:3 notes that fire prepares His path and Exodus 19:19 records that His voice sounds like rumbles of thunder.

Highly Exalted

God is highly exalted and His heavenly court is filled with thousands and thousands of angels, who serve Him day and night and are adorned by the glorious splendor of his majesty. The book of Revelation paints beautiful scenes of how these angels worship the living God with beautiful songs (cf. 4.8-11; 5: 8-14; 7: 9-12). Heaven is indeed a beautiful place. Man was a member of this amazing court. He had the freedom to join the angels to behold the radiant face of his Maker until he betrayed his God and fell out of grace.

Nevertheless, this exalted Being, though He exudes dread and awe, is infinitely merciful. Jesus is the symbol of His loving kindness. The transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor is a revelation of God’s plan to restore man. He wants to offer him his primeval glory and position back. He intends to admit him once again into his magnificent presence through Jesus Christ.

Ascend the Mountain

For the transfiguration, Jesus took Peter, James, and John up to the mountain. He took them away from the world. He set them apart to enable them to experience the glory, which man could no longer access. This was necessary because, according to Bishop Hacket, “Our heart, according to its own evil inclination, cleaves unto the dust like a serpent, our thoughts are of low stature, like Zachaeus “. In order to rid it of this base inclination and prepare it for transformation into its original glory, it must be lifted from the dust of worldliness and carnality. This is what Jesus depicted when he took His three disciples to the mountain. This indicates that whosoever that must be transformed, must ascend the mountain.

To do this, however, is not an easy task. Not everyone can climb the mountain. Ascending the mountain of transfiguration requires guts. For if there is no guts, there will be no glory. Climbing the mountain means, dying to the world, following the Lord every day steadfastly. Although Peter, James and John experienced the transfiguration of Jesus, they were not transfigured themselves until they climbed the spiritual Tabor, namely, “fighting the good fight and finishing the race.” This fight is only for men and women with courage. We recall that the Lord told Gideon to proclaim to the army of Israel: “Let the cowards go home” (Jdg. 7:3).

[Readings: Dn 7:9-10, 13-14; 2 Pt 1:16-19; Lk 9:28b-36]

Fr. Venatius Oforka

Fr. Venatius Chukwudum Oforka is a moral theologian. He was born in Nigeria and ordained a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Orlu. He is presently working in St. Martins parish, Oberstadion in Rottenburg-Stuttgart Diocese, Germany. Among his publications are The Bleeding Continent: How Africa became Impoverished and why it Remains Poor and The Art of Spiritual Warfare: The Secrete Weapons Satan can’t Withstand.

1 Comment

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