Reflections for

Transfiguration Sunday, Mar 03, 2019

Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)

On Art

Transfiguration, by Julia Stankova

Julia Stankova began her painting career in Sofia, Bulgaria, restoring icons. Inspired by the symbolic meaning of the images, she began painting her own works. Her personal engagement with her paintings was formed, she says, when she started reading the New Testament. “I took my place in the queue behind the apostles waiting for Christ to wash my feet too.” In Transfiguration, Stankova brings her own devotion, imagination, and theology to the iconic tradition.


Contemplative prayer with peony

So, I didn’t latch onto a holy word
and go into space and, ethereal,
lose touch with my body. But God,
in those thirty slow minutes, you
unfolded in me the bud of a fresh
flower, with color and fragrance
that was more than my soul
was capable of, on its own.

. . . We all, with unveiled face,
behold as in a mirror
the glory of the Lord.

And when the peony showed up,
I knew it as a kind of mirror. This
was glory in pink and cream, with
a smell of heaven. Petals like valves
opening into the colors of my heart.

I saw myself kneeling on a grass border,
my knees bruising the green, pressing
my face into the face of this silken,
just-opened bloom, and breathing it,
wanting to drown in it. Wanting
to grow in its reflected image.


Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.