Sunday, February 28, 2010

Preparing for the Mass - Sunday, February 28, 2010 (Cycle C)

2nd Sunday in Lent
Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
Psalm 27:1,7-9, 13-14   (The Lord is my light and my salvation)
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Luke 9:28-36

Reflection on First Reading:
*1 Abram has been called and has lived awhile trusting the God who has invited him. He has left his homeland, but he has a bit of a complaint. Having land and having children are signs of God’s loving blessing. Abram has neither and this is how the drama of our First Reading opens.

The voice of God invites Abram to count the stars and then come to know that his descendants will be even more than all the visible array.
Note that it was during the day that God told this to Abram. . . . can one see the stars during the day?
Ahhhh, what a wonderful message to those paying attention to Holy Scripture. Abram know the stars are there and that he will see them later, He knows by faith.
Abram both makes a statement of faith and doubt at the same time. God has told him that he will possess a great land having many riches. Abram asks reverently about how he will know. This tension is resolved by the ritual of covenant-making.

The animals are halved and the two parties agreeing to the history of the relationship, the promises and conditions of the pact walk between the slain animals. By doing this gesture of partnership, they are saying to each other, that if the covenant is broken, the offending partner wishes that he be likewise split in half.

While Abram is in a deep mystical slumber, God passes between the animals in the form of fire and pledges a great land-deal to Abram and his many offspring.
The wonderful connection to the Gospel:
*1 God has made a covenant with us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This covenant comes to us with a history, promises and directions. The history is contained in our Jewish and Christian Scriptures. The promises are made in terms of the life to come. The direction is that we are to listen to God’s beloved Son who tells us all that we too, share his being beloved.
The 2nd Reading:  ( from )

He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that
enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Jeff Cavins' reflection on the Gospel:
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus is transfigured before Peter, James, and John on a mountain and appears in dazzling white clothing along with Moses and Elijah. This scene happens shortly after Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God. God reaffirms this statement on the Mount of Transfiguration by declaring that Jesus is His Son. From this moment, Jesus sets out for Jerusalem. He now begins His road to the cross. Jesus speaks with Moses and Elijah about His coming “departure for Jerusalem.” Their words to Jesus must have been reassuring to Him. We can travel in our Lenten journey with the assurance of God’s plan for our lives and with the assurance that Jesus is the Christ.

Scott Hahn's reflection on the Gospel:
In today’s Gospel, we go up to the mountain with Peter, John and James. There we see Jesus “transfigured,” speaking with Moses and Elijah about His “exodus.”
The Greek word “exodus” means “departure.” But the word is chosen deliberately here to stir our remembrance of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt.
By His death and resurrection, Jesus will lead a new Exodus - liberating not only Israel but every race and people; not from bondage to Pharaoh, but from slavery to sin and death. He will lead all mankind, not to the territory promised to Abraham in today’s First Reading, but to the heavenly commonwealth that Paul describes in today’s Epistle.
Moses, the giver of God’s law, and the great prophet Elijah, were the only Old Testament figures to hear the voice and see the glory of God atop a mountain (see Exodus 24:15-18; 1 Kings 19:8-18).
Today’s scene closely resembles God’s revelation to Moses, who also brought along three companions and whose face also shone brilliantly (see Exodus 24:1; 34:29).
But when the divine cloud departs in today’s Gospel, Moses and Elijah are gone. Only Jesus remains. He has revealed the glory of the Trinity - the voice of the Father, the glorified Son, and the Spirit in the shining cloud.
Jesus fulfills all that Moses and the prophets had come to teach and show us about God (see Luke 24:27).
  • He is the “chosen One” promised by Isaiah (see Isaiah 42:1; Luke 23:35)
  • the “prophet like me” that Moses had promised (see Deuteronomy 18:15; Acts 3:22-23; 7:37)
  • Far and above that, He is the Son of God (see Psalm 2:7; Luke 3:21-23).
“Listen to Him,” the Voice tells us from the cloud. If, like Abraham, we put our faith in His words, one day we too will be delivered into “the land of the living” that we sing of in today’s Psalm. We will share in His resurrection, as Paul promises, our lowly bodies glorified like His.
Catechism 556 -
  • On the threshold of the public life: the baptism; 
  • on the threshold of the Passover: the Transfiguration. 
Jesus’ baptism proclaimed “the mystery of the first regeneration”, namely, our Baptism; the Transfiguration “is the sacrament of the second regeneration”: our own Resurrection.

From now on we share in the Lord’s Resurrection through the Spirit who acts in the sacraments of the Body of Christ. The Transfiguration gives us a foretaste of Christ’s glorious coming, when he “will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body.” But it also recalls that “it is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God”:  
Peter did not yet understand this when he wanted to remain with Christ on the mountain. It has been reserved for you, Peter, but for after death. For now, Jesus says:
“Go down to toil on earth, to serve on earth, to be scorned and crucified on earth. Life goes down to be killed; Bread goes down to suffer hunger; the Way goes down to be exhausted on his journey; the Spring goes down to suffer thirst; and you refuse to suffer?” 

Holy Priesthood Blog: Fr. Joel's homily for Feb 28  Lent2 - Listen to Jesus (8:50) 

When you find yourself in a cloud, listen to the voice of Jesus. Like Abraham, we are in a covenant with God. Live according to that covenant by listening to Jesus.

Jeff Cavins
Scott Hahn
Center for the Liturgy 
*1 Larry Gillick, S. J., of Creighton University’s Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality, writes this reflection for the Daily Reflections page on the Online Ministries web site at Creighton.

Abraham graphic: My Catholic Tradition
Transfiguration Icon : The Coptic Network
Transfiguration image: Carl Bloch artist 
The CCC 
Holy Priesthood blog - Father Joel

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