March 1, 2015

2nd Sun. of Lent

March 1, 2015:  Second Sunday of Lent

Find 12 connections with today's readings and celebration?
Legend below


From Ed Bolduc's blog (but new links)
2. How to respond to new needs?  For baptized Christians who may be in the Church and receive sacraments but still need evangelization, RCIA and other life-filled movements render almost tangible the Church's vivacity and the Holy Spirit's presence and action.
3. The Gospel fills believers with joy:  Gospel joy is only experienced by establishing an intimate relationship with Jesus.  The Gospel is called euangelion (happy, beautiful, joyful news):  Mark summarizes Jesus' preaching as  “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe....” but its meaning has been obscured because of the Greek metanoeite ('repent') was translated 'do penance'  instead of “turn your mind around,” be aware of what's happening.  Before Jesus, 'convert' meant “go back,” return to the violated covenant, through renewed observance of the law; it had an ascetic, moral, and penitential meaning:  changing one’s conduct.  Conversion was seen as a condition for salvation.  John the Baptist meant it this way (Lk 3:4-6), but with Jesus the reality changed:  conversion was to leap forward and enter into God's kingdom.
"Be converted" and "believe" are the same action; be converted by believing!  Conversion and salvation have exchanged places:  no longer: sin, conversion,  salvation (convert and salvation will come), but sin, salvation, conversion (convert because salvation has come).  We're no better or worse than before, but God sent his Son so we might be adopted.  Many parables, such as those of the banquet and lost sheep, confirm this happy proclamation.  The sheep's conversion consisted of the shepherd's bringing it back on his shoulders; the sheep just let itself be carried.  St. Paul: “The gain I had [to be a circumcised observer of the law] I counted as loss for the sake of Christ; I count all as loss because of the worth of knowing Christ, for whose sake I've suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, that I may gain Christ, having righteousness through faith in him, the righteousness of God that depends on faith” (Phil 3:7-9).
The Gospel is 'good news' and is source of joy because it tells of a God who “so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should have eternal life.”  Many remember Jesus’ “To come after me, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me” and see the Gospel as suffering and self-denial, not joy, but “follow me” is not just to death on the cross but through death to the resurrection, life, and joy without end!  [continued tomorrow]

  • Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18  God tested Abraham, asking him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac.  As Abraham took the knife, the angel stopped him.  "I know now how devoted you are to God.  I'll bless you abundantly."
    Transfiguration/ Ivanov
  • Ps 116:10, 15-19  "I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living."  I believed.  Precious in God's eyes is the death of his faithful.  I'm your servant; you loosed my bonds.  I'll offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon your name.
  • Rom 8:31b-34  If God is for us, who can be against us?  How will he who handed his Son over for us not give us everything else?  Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones:  God who acquits?  Christ at his right hand interceding for us?
  • Mk 9:2-10  Jesus led Peter, James, and John up a mountain and was transfigured before them.  Elijah and Moses appeared and were conversing with Jesus.  Peter:  “It's good we're here!  Let's make three tents....”  Voice from cloud:  “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”  Suddenly they only saw Jesus with them.
    • Creighton:  The Transfiguration is an invitation to transformation.  Only Jesus can transform us, but we must be open, as Abraham was.  What gets in the way?  May I let go of it.
    • One Bread One Body:  "Listening post":  The Lord is the most important person in the world to listen to.  After the Transfiguration, Jesus talked to his apostles about the cross, but they didn't listen till they received the Spirit at Pentecost.  We must listen.
    The Transfiguration of Christ
    • Passionist:   The light shining from Jesus reveals his transcendent, divine character, the mountain and cloud recall God’s appearance on Sinai, the figures of lawgiver Moses and prophet Elijah bring the Old Testament and God’s care for Israel into view, and the voice identifies Jesus as “[God's] beloved Son.”  God commands, “Listen to him” as Jesus begins his journey to Jerusalem and the cross, during which he tells his disciples to follow him.  The heart of the Christian message is love, compassion, loving service to the world.
    •  Through the eyes of faith Abraham recognized God's call on his life and hoped in God's promises.  The Lord Jesus reveals his glory in fulfilling his Father's will.  Am I prepared to see God's glory?  The Lord wants to share it with each of us.  Origen re how the transfiguration can change us:   "When he's transfigured, his face shines as the sun that he may be manifested to the children of light who walk honestly as in the day.  He'll shine on them not simply as the sun, but as the sun of righteousness." (paraphrased)  While Jesus was transfigured, Peter, James, and John were asleep.  How much do I miss God's glory and action because I'm spiritually asleep?  May I be awake and alert. "We, with unveiled face, behold the Lord's glory and are being changed into his likeness; this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit" (2 Cor 3:18).
    Apparel legend
    • 'Wood block' tie pin:  Abraham arranged wood on the altar he built (1st reading)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  Angel:  "Don't lay your hand on the boy" (1st reading)
    • 'Star' tie pin:  "I'll make your descendants as countless as the stars" (1st reading)
    • 'Walker' tie pin:  "I'll walk before the Lord" (psalm)
    • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Precious in the Lord's eyes is the death of his faithful (psalm)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  I'll 'call' on the Lord's name (psalm)
    • 'Scales of justice' pin:  If God acquits, who will condemn? (2nd reading)
    • 'Mountain' pin:  Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a mountain (gospel)
    • White shirt:  Jesus' clothes became dazzling white (gospel)
    • 'Cloud' tie:  A cloud came and from it a voice (gospel)
    • 'Jubilee year' button:  Gospel fills us with joy (Cantalamessa homily)
    • Purple suspenders:  Lenten season

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