Being transfigured

Daily Reading for February 22 • The Last Sunday after the Epiphany

If anyone asks what the Lord’s garments, which became white as snow, represent typologically, we can properly understand them as pointing to the church of his saints [who] . . . at the time of the resurrection will be purified from every blemish of iniquity and at the same time from all the darkness of mortality. Concerning the Lord’s garments the evangelist Mark remarks that “they became as bright as snow, such as no bleacher on earth can make them white.” It is evident to everyone that there is no one who can live on earth without corruption and sorrow. So it is evident to all who are wise, although heretics deny it, that there is no one who can live on earth without being touched by some sin. But what a cleansing agent (that is, a teacher of souls or some extraordinary purifier of his body) cannot do on earth, that the Lord will do in heaven. He will purify the church, which is his clothing, “from all defilement of flesh and spirit,” renewing [her] besides with eternal blessedness and light of flesh and spirit.

From Bede’s Homilies on the Gospels, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament II, Mark, edited by Thomas C. Oden and Christopher A. Hall (Downer’s Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1998).

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