February 18, 2017

Feb. 18

February 18, 2017:  Saturday, 6th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Boats' shirt:  By faith Noah built an ark (1st reading)

  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Let your faithful ones discourse of your kingdom's glory (psalm) 

  • 'Alps' and 'cloud' pin:  Transfiguration Mountain (Tabor?); cloud cast a shadow, voice from cloud (gospel)

  • White in shirt:  Clothes of transfigured Jesus (gospel)
For the gospel

For 1st reading
For Psalm 145

*listening tips
Pope Francis
To Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception:  Your founder, St. Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary, fully understood the meaning of being a disciple of Christ.  Your service of the Word is the witness of the Risen Christ you've encountered.  You're called to spread the Gospel wherever you're sent.  Christian witness requires engagement with and for the poor, as you do.
Announce the Good News in languages ​​and ways understandable to people of our time, involved in rapid social and cultural transformation.  Many are still waiting to know Jesus, the one Redeemer.  Such a mission requires personal and communal conversion.  Only hearts fully open to Grace can interpret the signs of the times and seize the appeals of those needing hope and peace.
To university students:  Migrations are a challenge to grow, not a danger.
Unity without differences is one of our great threats.  The risk of globalization fostering uniformity, and our culture of instant communication and constant connectedness, don't allow for thoughtful consideration and could strangle dialogue unless we cultivate a more considerate pace and sensitivity.
Cultivate hope despite joblessness, the culture of hedonism, and the warped sense of religion around us.
  • Heb 11:1-7  Faith is realization of what is hoped for, evidence of things unseen.  By faith we understand God's word ordered the universe, Abel offered God a sacrifice greater than Cain's, and Noah built an ark.  Without faith you can't please God.
  • Ps 145:2-5, 10-11  "I will praise your name for ever, Lord."  You're great and praiseworthy.  Let your works and faithful ones give you thanks, bless you, and speak of your might.

  • Mk 9:2-13  Jesus led Peter, James, and John up a mountain and was transfigured; his clothes dazzled.  Elijah and Moses appeared conversing with him.  Peter, terrified:  “Rabbi, it's good we're here!  Let's make three tents....”  A cloud cast a shadow; from it, a voice:  “This is my beloved Son. Listen.”  Suddenly they only saw Jesus; he charged them not to tell anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.  They wondered what rising from the dead meant.  "Why do the scribes say Elijah must come first?" / "He will come first and restore all things, but the Son of Man must suffer and be treated with contempt.  Elijah has come...."
    • Creighton:  When I encounter hard times, or things don't go the way I think they should, I can wonder whether God has abandoned me, but today's readings remind me that material success is not the mark of God’s servants.  The mark is accepting the importance of the relationship with God even in times of trouble.  When I don't want to serve God, I'm consoled by St. Ignatius’ insight that just the desire for the desire to respond to God has value.  St. Mother Theresa didn't give up even when she didn't feel God’s presence.  As I read the 1st reading, I remember Abel was murdered and Noah’s world destroyed.  Moses never made it to the Promised Land and felt overwhelmed along the way, and Elijah went into hiding, depressed about his apparent failure.  Both asked God to take their lives if things didn't improve.  The night before Jesus was crucified, he wondered whether he could be spared the suffering.  These are the heroes of salvation history....
      Verklärung Christi/ Lotto
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Increase our faith":  Faith is confidence, assurance, conviction; without it, we don't understand the origin of life and can't please God.  Examples of faith beyond today's reading are Abraham going forth not knowing where, Abraham being willing to sacrifice his son, Sarah at 90 conceiving a child, Moses' parents disregarding the king's edict, Moses wishing to be ill-treated rather than enjoy the rewards of sin, the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, and Israel bringing down Jericho's walls...

    • Passionist:  Faith is at the heart of today’s readings.  Today's gospel elevates faith to the level of vision, as Peter, James and John witness Jesus' transfiguration; they saw a vision while operating in the realm of faith.  Seeing the Transfiguration was a reward:  they heard the Father telling them to listen to Jesus, and they heard Jesus say he'd rise from the dead.  The history depicted in the readings affects our own faith, providing us models.  We share in this past, especially through the law mediated by Moses and the prophecies by Elijah and John the Baptist.  We're the beneficiaries of these testimonies; they enable us to affirm in faith that God exists and rewards those who seek Him.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "This is my Son, the Beloved ; listen to him!"  God is eager to share his glory with us!  When Moses met with God on Sinai, his face shone because he'd been talking with God.  Moses' face was so bright, the Israelites couldn't look at it.  Jesus appeared with Moses, the great lawgiver, and Elijah, the great prophets, in the presence of Peter, James, and John.  He went to the mountain knowing he'd be betrayed, rejected, and crucified; was he discussing this with Moses and Elijah?  The Father spoke with Jesus and gave his approval; he glorified his obedient son.  The cloud that overshadowed Jesus and his apostles fulfilled the dream of the Jews that the cloud of God's presence would fill the temple when the Messiah came.
    The Lord wants to share this glory with us.  He shows us how:  to follow him.  He fulfilled his mission because he went to Calvary so paradise would be restored to us, embracing the cross to obtain the glory that awaits each of us who follow him.  "When Jesus is transfigured, his face shines as the sun that he may be manifested to the children of light who have put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light and walk honestly.  Being manifest, he will shine on them not simply as the sun, but as the sun of righteousness" (Origen, paraphrased).
    While Jesus was transfigured, Peter, James, and John were asleep; when they woke, they discovered Jesus in glory.  What do we miss of God's glory because we're spiritually asleep?  Much can keep us asleep to God: mental lethargy, the "unexamined life," a life of ease, prejudice, even sorrow.  We, like the apostles, are called to be witnesses of God's glory, with unveiled faces beholding it and being changed into his likeness....  ).

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