Saturday, March 15, 2014
Second Sunday of Lent
March 16, 2014
Second Sunday of Lent
Gen 12: 1-4a / Ps 33: 4-5, 18-19, 20, 22 / 2 Tm 1: 8b-10 / Mt 17: 1-9
First Reading: Gen 12:1-4a
Yahweh said to Abram, "Leave your country, your family and your father's house, for the land I will show you, I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse, and in you all peoples of the earth will be blessed." So Abram went as Yahweh had told him, and Lot went with him.
Second Reading: 2 Timothy 1:8b-10
Do your share in laboring for the Gospel with the strength of God. He saved us and called us - a calling which proceeds from his holiness. This did not depend on our merits, but on his generosity and his own initiative. This calling given to us from all time in Christ Jesus has just been manifested with the glorious appearance of Christ Jesus, our Lord, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light in his Gospel.
Gospel: Mt 17:1-9
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they were alone. Jesus' appearance was changed before them: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became bright as light. Just then Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. Peter spoke and said to Jesus, "Master, it is good that we are here. If you so wish, I will make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Peter was still speaking when a bright cloud covered them in its shadow, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, my Chosen One. Listen to him." On hearing the voice, the disciples fell to the ground, full of fear. But Jesus came, touched them and said, "Stand up, do not be afraid." When they raised their eyes, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus. And as they came down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had just seen, until the Son of Man be raised from the dead.
In 2010, thirty-six Chilean miners were trapped 1000 feet below the earth facing certain death. What kept them alive were a couple of factors. First, they were extremely self-disciplined. The food they had which was intended for two days, lasted them two weeks. Second, they knew they were getting help from above. Once communication was established, their hope to survive and live became increasingly more positive. The joy and exhilaration of these men were clear as each of them was brought up safe and sound into the welcoming arms of their loved ones.
Jesus had been instructing a select group of improbable leaders for his church. They were unpolished, unrefined - hardly the kind of people the CEOs of today would pay attention to when selecting the top honchos for their corporations. But God's ways are not our ways. Jesus had to tell his apostles of his impending death, something they could not understand or did not want to hear. To prepare them for the bad news, Jesus takes three of them on a long hike. Mt Tabor is about 15 kilometers from Nazareth and it must have taken them a day to walk to and climb up 500 meters or 1500 feet elevation that gives a breathtaking view of the Jezreel valley. It is a perfect place where Jesus shows them who he really is in his transcendent glory. He assures the disciples that his sufferings and death would not be in vain and that he would rise again on the third day.
The Lord does not abandon his people, and he treasures and rewards the fidelity of the faithful. The story of Abraham is a gentle reminder that God is always there to take care of his loved ones. Paul in the second reading exhorts everyone to stand firm in the midst of trials and tribulations.
Jesus' transfiguration on Mt Tabor was a revelation of his divine nature, a dramatic way of showing his divine origin. At the transfiguration, his face became as bright as the sun and his clothes as white as light. At the same time Moses and Elijah appeared to them conversing with Jesus. It was such a glorious and moving moment that Peter just didn't know how to react. So he suggested that they build a tent for Jesus, for Moses and for Elijah on that mountain. They saw and realized who Jesus is.
After the transfiguration the disciples went back to their usual routine of ministering to the people and helping Jesus in his ministry, encountering trials, rejection, and all kinds of oppositions, but in the end, the memory of the Father speaking and telling them to listen to His Son will never be forgotten.
So it is with us as we go through our lives trying to follow Christ daily. The words of the Father continue to be our source of comfort and strength as we try to live our faith in a world that sometimes does not conform to the desires of the Lord.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... 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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