2nd Sunday of Lent
Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18.
The Gospel this weekend is this:
About eight days after he said this, he took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. 29 While he was praying his face changed in appearance and
his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he
was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men
standing with him. 33 As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." But he did not know what he was saying. 34 While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my chosen Son; listen to him. 36 After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.
The first reading is this:
Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
The Lord took Abram outside and said: "Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so," he added, "shall your descendants be." 6 Abram put his faith in the LORD, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness. 7 He then said to him, "I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as a
possession." 8 "O Lord GOD," he asked, "How am I to know that I shall possess it?"
9 He answered him, "Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon." 10 He brought him all these, split them in two, and placed each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not
cut up. 11 Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram stayed with them. 12 As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram, and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him… 17 When the sun had set and it was dark, there
appeared a smoking brazier and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces.
18 It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River (the
The second reading is this:
Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us. 18 For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their "shame." Their minds are occupied with earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 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. 4:1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.
This second Sunday of Lent is about the Transfiguration.
Jesus is conversing with Moses and Elijah, while Peter, James and John watch. It's reminding us that God has been communicating with his people for a long time and He promises a fruitful future. The Old Testament leads to the New, and who knows what's coming next?! The first reading is of the promise of descendents to Abram. His name then becomes Abraham, which means 'father of nations'. Centuries later, it's true that the family of believers is international! Unfortunately, the family of disbelievers is too!
The second reading is of St Paul recommending that the Philippians avoid evildoers and follow his example. It may seem boastful, but it's in the Bible as a way to encourage us to follow. It's challenging us to be missionaries that don't just pass on information and sing songs (and send e-mails), but that give good living testimony that people could follow.
I like the way that Jesus in the Gospel is chatting away with Moses and Elijah, as opposed to just running through a list and ticking things off. It speaks to me of how our life of prayer shouldn't be like coldly reading a catechism or a book of theology etc., but rather like friendly chat. Sometimes it's like listening to a love-song that moves our hearts! It's also asking us all to help Christ to move hearts, not by writing some cold textbook, but by becoming a living 'textbook'. Christ wants to present our lives for the world to see. That's what speaks!
It's important for mankind to realise that the Word of God isn't just another interesting book (in fact, some parts at times don't seem even interesting!), but it gets us to think. It's like an umbilical chord for a child in the womb. Somehow it gets the baby to develop, even though the child isn't thinking. I remember from 'obstetrics' how dangerous it is when the chord twists and that happens to many in their religious life. Even the role of preaching may be quite superficial - having good appearance, but it's just appearance.
God asks Abraham to offer some sacrifices as a sign of accepting the covenant, but it's important that we appreciate that what God longs for in us is a deep attitude of heart. The sacrifice of the animals may seem an unpleasant way of worshipping God but it's a simple way of prophesizing that eventually the 'Lamb of God' (Jesus Christ) was going to be offered by God to us! All Catholics go to Sunday Mass and to the Easter ceremonies, but it's only if we really 'convert' and decide to love even better, that we can celebrate an up to date Resurrection!
A clear light that tells us of a huge descendency is Mary. Some describe her as 'The Mystery of the Moon' because Mary reflects the light of Christ. Even in the middle of the night, the light of the sun is reflected by the moon.
Abraham had to offer holocausts etc., but it's Jesus who offers himself for us, so we give thanks today (Eucharist). Christ wants to bring us 'up that mountain', to open up to a long history of God's Good News, and thereafter we may be able to pass it on to many - like the moon reflecting the light of the sun!
2° Domingo de Cuaresma: Gen 15:5-12, 17-18. Fil 3:17-4:1. Lucas 9:28-36.
Este segundo Domingo de Cuaresma trata de la Transfiguración.
Jesús esta en conversación con Moisés y Elías, mientras que Pedro, Santiago y Juan están mirando. Nos está recordando que Dios ha estado comunicando con su gente durante mucho tiempo y que promete un futuro feliz. El Antiguo Testamento llega hasta el Nuevo y ¿quién sabe que está todavía por venir?! La primera lectura trata de la promesa de descendencia a Abran. Desde entonces su nombre será 'Abrahán', que significa 'padre de naciones'. Siglos más tarde, es verdad que la familia de creyentes es internacional. Por desgracia, ¡la familia de ateos es así también!
La segunda lectura es de San Pablo pidiendo a los Filipenses evitar a los que hacen el mal y seguirle a él. Puede parecer orgulloso pero está en la Biblia para animarnos a respetar a Cristo. Nos pide ser misioneros que no están simplemente pasando información y cantando canciones (¡y enviando e-mail!), sino testimonio vivo al cual la gente puedan seguir.
Me gusta como Jesús en el Evangelio está charlando con Moisés y Elías, y no fríamente proclamando una lista de ideas. Me habla de como una vida de oración debe ser mucho más que una lectura fría de verdades en el catecismo o de teología etc., sino más bien como un charlar amistoso. A veces es como escuchar una canción de amor que mueve corazones. También nos está pidiendo ayudar a Cristo a mover corazones, no por escribir un libro frío, sino por ser libros amorosos 'vivos'. Cristo quiere presentar nuestras vidas a la vista del mundo. ¡Es aquello que habla!
Es importante que la humanidad se de cuenta de que la Palabra de Dios no es simplemente otro libro interesante (de hecho ¡hay trozos que a veces ni siquiera parecen interesantes!), pero nos hace pensar. Es como un cordón umbilical para un niño en el seno. De alguna forma hace que el niño crezca aunque ni siquiera sea consciente. Me acuerdo en 'la obstetricia' lo peligroso que es cuando el cordón gira y esto es lo que les pasa a algunos en su vida religiosa. Aún el papel del predicador puede ser bastante superficial - con buena apariencia, pero a veces es sólo apariencia.
Dios pide a Abrahán ofrecer un sacrificio como signo de aceptar la Alianza, pero es importante darnos cuenta de que lo que Dios nos pide es una actitud profunda de corazón. Puede ser que el sacrificio de animales parece como una forma desagradable de alabar a Dios pero es una forma sencilla de profetizar que al fin de cuentas ¡‘el Cordero de Dios’ (Jesucristo) iba a estar ofrecido por Dios a nosotros! Cada católico va a la misa del fin de semana y a las ceremonias de Pascua, pero ¡es solamente si de verdad 'nos convertimos' y decidimos amar mejor, que celebraremos una Resurrección actual!
Una luz clara que nos muestra una descendencia grandísima es María. Algunos la describen como 'el Misterio de la Luna' porque ella refleja algo de la luz de Cristo. Aún en media noche, la luna refleja la luz del sol.
Tocó a Abrahán ofrecer holocaustos etc., pero es Jesús quien se ofrece a si mismo por nosotros, entonces le damos gracias hoy (Eucaristía). Cristo nos quiere llevar por aquella 'montaña', para que nos abramos a una historia larga de la Buena Nueva de Dios, y desde entonces quizá podremos compartirla con muchos - ¡como la luna reflejando la luz del sol!
A place to read about announcements, news on the latest events here in the Verbum Dei Family Cebu and more.
Feel free to leave your comments on any of the articles / updates posted here.