The “Awesomeness” of God

Friday, August 6 – Feast of the Transfiguration
God is awesome!

I mean that literally, in the proper dictionary sense of the word “awesome”. Although God is properly speaking a spiritual being, and hence invisible, there have been times in history when He has revealed some of his power and glory in a tangible way, especially after the Incarnation when God became visible in the person of Jesus. When he has manifested something of his true splendor, he leaves those who have seen it overwhelmed, filled with awe, groping for words to describe what they have experienced.

We know that this glory and majesty belong to Christ, but perhaps it’s not the image we are most accustomed to. Jesus did not reveal his glory often, even after the resurrection. It’s easier for us to relate to Jesus as He meets his disciples on the shore in the last chapter of John’s gospel, cooking fish over the fire and sitting down to share a meal with them on the beach. We can feel at home with the Savior when He calls his disciples his friends and washes their feet.

However, it is very important for us to remember the other face of Christ, when He unveils the glory He had with the Father before the world was made. He does this at least twice, in the Transfiguration and at certain moments after his Resurrection. This is the dazzling glory that left Peter babbling about tents on the mountaintop, the Christ whom John the Evangelist saw in his visions described in the book of Revelation, and before whom he fell prostrate in fear and awe. Jesus Christ is the all-powerful God of power and majesty, who received dominion, glory and kingship, whom all nations serve.

This is the God whom we go to church to worship, who is present in the humble appearances of the Eucharist. Sometimes we can get too used to His presence, and focus only on the humility and humanity of Christ. We can forget that while He deigned to call us his friends, He is also our King, infinitely more worthy of respect and adoration than any merely human leader or celebrity.

Today, let’s renew our awareness of what it means to have God truly present among us in the Eucharist. If we are in any way neglecting the worship, honor and reverence that is due to him – for example, in the way we genuflect before the tabernacle, the way we dress or talk in Church, or the way we receive communion – let us make amends, imbuing these acts with greater reverence, devotion and love. As Peter says in today’s gospel, it truly “is good that we are here”. Let us be sure we know it and show it, to the greater glory of God.


About Matthew Green

I am a translator, origami artist/teacher, and photographer, a blogger, former philosophy professor, and I love to sing. You can see my photos on Flickr and buy prints of some of them on Fine Art America. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter (@mehjg), and in various and sundry other social media sites on the web.
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