Saturday, February 23, 2013
2ND SUNDAY OF LENT – C
FEBRUARY 24, 2013
2ND SUNDAY OF LENT – C
Gen 15:5-12,17-18 / Ps 27: 1. 7-8. 8-9. 13-14 / Phil 3:17-4:1 / Lk 9:28-36
Then Yahweh brought him outside and said to him, "Look up at the sky and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that." Abram believed Yahweh who, because of this, held him to be an upright man. And he said, "I am Yahweh who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession." Then Abram asked, "My Lord, how am I to know that it shall be mine?" Yahweh replied, "Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtle dove and a young pigeon." Abram brought all these animals, cut them in two, and laid each half facing its other half, but he did not cut the birds in half. The birds of prey came down upon them, but Abram drove them away. As the sun was going down, a deep sleep came over Abram, and a dreadful darkness took hold of him. When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passed between the halves of the victims. On that day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I have given this country from the river of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates.
Unite in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and look at those who walk in our way of life. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. I have said it to you many times, and now I repeat it with tears: they are heading for ruin; their belly is their god and they feel proud of what should be their shame. They only think of earthly things. For us, our citizenship is in heaven, from where we await the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord. He will transfigure our lowly body, making it like his own body, radiant in Glory, through the power which is his to submit everything to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, you my glory and crown, be steadfast in the Lord.
About eight days after Jesus had said all this, he took Peter, John and James, and went up the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the aspect of his face was changed, and his clothing became dazzling white. Two men were talking with Jesus: Moses and Elijah. Appearing in the glory of heaven, Moses and Elijah spoke to Jesus about his departure from this life, which was to take place in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had fallen asleep; but they awoke suddenly, and they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As Moses and Elijah were about to leave, Peter—not knowing what to say—said to Jesus, "Master, how good it is for us to be here! Let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." And no sooner had he spoken, than a cloud appeared and covered them; and the disciples were afraid as they entered the cloud. Then these words came from the cloud, "This is my Son, my Beloved, listen to him." And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was there alone. The disciples kept this to themselves at the time, telling no one of anything they had seen.
In today's gospel reading, the Evangelist Luke tells us of that important event when Jesus took three of his close companions up onto a mountain to pray. Those companions were Peter, James, and John. Luke tells us that while they were at prayer, the three fell asleep but suddenly something happened that they would never forget. Awaking, they saw before them Jesus talking with two men. The appearance of Jesus was strange. He looked utterly glorious and his clothing was amazingly white. The two men could be recognized as Moses and Elijah, great heroes of the Old Testament. They too seemed to be in glory. What were they talking about? They were talking about how in Jerusalem Jesus would suffer and eventually be put to death but rise again. Luke doesn't give all those details in today's gospel reading, but we learn them from other evangelists. (Different authors have different ways of reporting the same event!)
What is interesting for reflection is to consider why the Church chooses to tell the story of Christ's Transfiguration on this Second Sunday of Lent. We can see in the transfiguration event one way in which the Lord is preparing these three disciples for what they will experience when they will be with Jesus from his agony in the garden and his passion and death, all leading to the glory of his Resurrection. The transfiguration experience is a preparation for the disciples' share in Christ's sacrifice that will lead finally to Easter.
Similarly, Lent is meant for all of us every year to be a time of preparation. Lent prepares us to recall and relive our own share in the passion and death of Jesus which finally leads us to the celebration of Easter. The season of Lent began on Ash Wednesday and as we enter into the second week of Lent, it is good to recall the very purpose of this penitential season. Just as the transfiguration event prepared the disciples for what would follow, the annual celebration of Lent prepares today's followers of Christ for the Easter celebration to follow.
The Lenten liturgy expresses this well when in the first Lenten Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, the Father is addressed with these words: "Each year you give us this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed. You give us a spirit of loving reverence for You, our Father, and of willing service to our neighbor. As we recall the great events that gave us new life in Christ, You bring the image of Your Son to perfection within us."
As a season of preparation for our celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Christ's eventual victory over sin and death, Lent looks both at what is our present need for renewal and also of our assurance of the victory Christ has won for us. In that sense Lent is both forward looking and at the same time soul searching in the present. What we look forward to can give us the strength and courage to deal with our need for renewal in the present. The transfiguration experience of today's gospel narrative was intended to give the disciples the strength and courage that they would soon need.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Eliseo Fabella, Sr.
… for the personal intentions of
- Alfonso Marquez III
… for the eternal repose of the soul of
- Ricardo (Nonoy) Diaz
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Faye Antolin
- Birthday: Roberto Cristobal Nazal
- In Memoriam (+): Marie O'Gorman
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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