February 25, 2018

2nd Sun., Lent

February 25, 2018:  Second Sunday of Lent

See 14 connections with today?
Legend below
For Psalm 116

Pope Francis Angelus
Jesus' Transfiguration was related to what had happened six days before, when he revealed to his disciples that in Jerusalem he'd have to suffer and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and rise again.  This announcement had challenged Peter and the other disciples, who rejected the idea that Jesus would be rejected and killed.  By leading Peter, James, and John to a high mountain and showing them his glory, the Lord was enabling the disciples to face his passion in a positive way, without being overwhelmed.
The transfiguration helps the disciples, and us, understand that the passion of Christ is a mystery of suffering, but above all a gift of Jesus' infinite love.  His transfiguration also makes us understand his resurrection better; if before the passion there had not been the transfiguration with God's declaration, "This is my beloved Son," Jesus' paschal mystery would not have been as easily understood.  We need to climb the mountain with Jesus, stop, be more attentive to God, let the Spirit envelop and transform us, live out the experience of contemplation and prayer, not escaping life's harshness but enjoying familiarity with God.

  • 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:  How could God could put Isaac, and Abraham, through that test?  Does God really test us?  What if God isn’t testing Abraham because God needs to know of his devotion but because Abraham needs to understand how devoted he is to God?  And what if Jesus, fully human, "needed" the Transfiguration as affirmation from God to bolster his courage for what was ahead?...
  • One Bread, One Body:  "He loves me; he loves me not...":  "God is for us."  He who handed his own Son over for our sake grants us all things.  But God does, and allows, things we can't understand, and we can question God's love instead of our understanding.  The Lord doesn't explain our suffering, but he suffered and died for us.  "God with us" joined us in our sufferings.  To learn the lessons of love in the midst of suffering, we must listen to Jesus speaking of the cross. Because Jesus is our transfigured Lord, we listen.
  • Passionist Going, Going, Gone:  The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics, based on a CARA study, says that many stop practicing their faith because they feel judged.  Saul was a good Jew, a committed rabbi, intense, zealous, willing to die or kill for his faith.  Certitude can be delusional and dangerous. Paul speaks of his woundedness, confesses the sin he can't control, and has a sharp conflict with Barnabas and Peter.  Maybe that’s the real conversion. Paul is healed by the Damascus community, transformed by acceptance and care.  May we love others into more abundant life....
  • DailyScripture.net:  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."
Dress legend
  • 'Angel' pin:  The Lord's messenger called to Abraham (1st reading)
  • 'Fire' pin:  Abraham offered a ram up as a holocaust instead of his son (1st reading)
  • '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); God 'handed' his Son over for us all; Christ is at God's right hand (2nd 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:  Angel 'called' to Abraham (1st reading); I'll 'call' on the Lord's name (psalm)
  • 'Alps' 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)
  • Purple suspenders:  Lenten season

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