Origen: Have You Ascended Above the Six Days?

Feast of St. Laurence the Holy Martyr & Archdeacon of Rome

Origen_square_2.jpgAND AFTER six days” (according to Matthew and Mark), “He took Peter and James and John his brother, and led them by themselves up a high mountain. And He was transfigured before them.”

It seems to me not without purpose that those who are being led by Jesus “up the high mountain,” and who are deemed worthy of seeing His transfiguration “by themselves,” are led up, according to the words we have just quoted, “after six days.” For since the whole world—this complete creation—came into being in six days, a perfect number, for this reason I think that the one who overcomes all worldly things by no longer keeping in view “the things that are seen” (for “they are temporal”) but now “things that are unseen” and only things that are unseen (for “they are eternal” [2 Cor. 4.18]), is revealed in the statement that Jesus took these particular disciples up “after six days.” For if any one of us wishes, with Jesus leading him, to be led by Him “to the high mountain” and to be deemed worthy of privately seeing His transfiguration, he must ascend above the six days, so that he may no longer gaze on “things visible” nor any longer “love the world or the things in the world” (1 Jn. 2.15), nor experience any worldly desire, which is desire for bodies and bodily wealth and the glory of the flesh, and all that tends to distract the soul and draw it away from the better and more divine things, and to drag it down, and to thrust it, by the deception of this age, into the midst of wealth and glory and the other desires that are enemies of truth. For when one passes beyond the six days, as we have said, one celebrates the new Sabbath, rejoicing on the high mountain at the sight of the transfigured Jesus before him. For the Logos has different forms, appearing to each onlooker as is fitting, and not revealed to anyone beyond what the onlooker can receive.

~Origen, Commentary on Matthew


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