August 6, 2014 + The Banquet-Table of Christ


by Leontius the Presbyter of Constantinople

Christ, our generous host, has set before us again today a banquet-table worthy of veneration: a table not simply to be honored by custom, but recognized as part of our familiarity with God; a table not marked by yearning for earthly delights, but sharing in those of heaven; a table not splendid with Solomon's delicacies, but crowned by God's laws; a table not made blessed by abundance of food, but made solemn by thoughts of God. For what could be richer than Solomon's table, spreading out day by day (as is told us in the Third Book of the Kingdoms) 'thirty kors of fine wheat flour, and sixty kors of ground barley meal, and ten tender, choice calves and twenty grazing cows and a hundred sheep – to say nothing of deer and gazelles and choice birds' [see III Kingdoms 11:1-13]. But such a lavish abundance of dishes brought Solomon no benefit, nor did it lead him towards perfect virtue. Just the opposite: by leading him to indulge himself beyond measure, it led him to go mad in the end. But the table of the Lord, richly laid before us again today – a table that is immaterial, infinite, incorruptible, immortal, uncircumscribed, beyond human reckoning – directs us not only towards earthly blessings, but towards heavenly ones as well! For it does not offer us 'thirty kors of wheat flour,' but lavishes on us the kingdom of heaven, as the yeast in 'three measures of barley' [Mt. 13:33]. Nor does it set out 'sixty kors of barley,' but the bread of heaven itself; I mean that the Lord Christ rewards believers here with the gift of Himself, day after day.

Leontius the Presbyter of Constantinople, Homily 14: On the Transfiguration, Light on the Mountain: Greek Patristic and Byzantine Homilies on the Transfiguration of the Lord, translated by Brian E. Daley, S.J., St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Yonkers, NY, 2013, pp. 115-116.

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The Holy Transfiguration of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ

Troparion, Tone 7

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, revealing Your glory to Your disciples as far as they could bear it. Let Your everlasting Light also shine upon us sinners, through the prayers of the Theotokos. O Giver of Light, glory to You!

Kontakion, Tone 7

On the mountain You were Transfigured, O Christ God, and Your disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could see it; so that when they would behold You crucified, they would understand that Your suffering was voluntary, and would proclaim to the world, that You are truly the Radiance of the Father!