Posted by: RAM | March 20, 2011

Sunday (March 20): “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!

Month of Saint Joseph

Second Sunday of Lent

O wondrous vision, which makes us contemplate the human race in the unity of its origin in God. . . in the unity of its nature, composed equally in all men of a material body and a spiritual soul; in the unity of its immediate end and its mission in the world; in the unity of its dwelling, the earth, whose benefits all men, by right of nature, may use to sustain and develop life; in the unity of its supernatural end: God Himself, to whom all ought to tend; in the unity of the means for attaining this end;. . . in the unity of the redemption wrought by Christ for all.  — Pius XII. Encyclical, Summi pontificatus 3  http://ewtn.com/devotionals/inspiration.htm#20

First Reading: Genesis 12:1-4
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22:
Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Second Reading: 2 Timothy 1:8-10
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”  http://usccb.org/nab/032011.shtml

Reflection (Video): What does the Lord want to make of you in this season of Lent? God made a promise to Abraham that he would make his name great so that he would be a blessing not only to his family but to all the families of the earth as well (Genesis 12:3)! The condition for the fulfillment of this promise was simple and straightforward – “Go to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). Abraham not only believed in God’s word, he obeyed and did as the Lord commanded him.

Jesus is the fulfillment of all the promises made to Abraham and to his spiritual descendants. He succeeded because he obeyed his Father’s will. Jesus knew that the only way to glory in God’s kingdom was by yielding his will to the will of the Father. We catch a glimpse of this glory when Jesus takes three of his disciples to a lonely place on a high mountain. Jesus often went to a lonely place to pray – to seek solitude and sanctuary away from the crowds. But on this occasion, the Gospel of Luke tells us that as Jesus “was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white.” (Luke 9:29). Matthew states simply that Jesus was “transfigured before them”.

When Moses met with God on Mount Sinai the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God (see Exodus 34:29). Paul says that the Israelites could not look at Moses’ face because of its brightness(2 Corinthians 3:7). In this incident Jesus appeared in glory with Moses, the great lawgiver of Israel, and with Elijah, the greatest of the prophets, in the presence of three of his beloved apostles.

What is the significance of this mysterious appearance? Jesus went to the mountain knowing full well what awaited him in Jerusalem – his betrayal, rejection and crucifixion. Jesus very likely discussed this momentous decision to go to the cross with Moses and Elijah. God the Father also spoke with Jesus and gave his approval: This is my beloved Son; listen to him. The Father glorified his son because he obeyed. The cloud which overshadowed Jesus and his apostles fulfilled the dream of the Jews that when the Messiah came the cloud of God’s presence would fill the temple again (see Exodus 16:10, 19:9, 33:9; 1 Kings 8:10; 2 Maccabees 2:8).

The Lord Jesus not only wants us to see his glory – he wants to share this glory with us. And Jesus shows us the way to the Father’s glory – follow me – obey my words – take the path I have chosen for you and you will receive the blessings of my Father’s kingdom – your name will be written in heaven. Jesus succeeded in his mission because he went to Calvary so that Paradise would be restored to us once again. He embraced the cross to obtain the crown of glory that awaits each of us, if we will follow in his footsteps.

Origen, the great 3rd century bible scholar, shows us how the transfiguration can change our lives: “When he is transfigured, his face also 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 are no longer the children of darkness or night but have become the sons of day, and walk honestly as in the day. Being manifest, he will shine unto them not simply as the sun, but as demonstrated to be the sun of righteousness.”

Luke’s gospel tells us that while Jesus was transfigured, Peter, James, and John were asleep (Luke 9:32)! Upon awakening they discovered Jesus in glory along with Moses and Elijah. How much do we miss of God’s glory and action because we are asleep spiritually?  There are many things which can keep our minds asleep to the things of God: Mental lethargy and the “unexamined life” can keep us from thinking things through and facing our doubts and questions. The life of ease can also hinder us from considering the challenging or disturbing demands of Christ. Prejudice can make us blind to something new the Lord may have for us. Even sorrow can be a block until we can see past it to the glory of God. Are you spiritually awake? Peter, James, and John were privileged witnesses of the glory of Christ. We, too, as disciples of Christ are called to be witnesses of his glory. We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Lord wants to reveal his glory to us, his beloved disciples. Do you seek his presence with faith and reverence?

“Lord Jesus, keep me always alert and awake to you, to your word, your action, and your daily presence in my life. Let me see your glory.” http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/mar20.htm

Saint of the Day: St. Salvator of Horta (1520-1567)

A reputation for holiness does have some drawbacks. Public recognition can be a nuisance at times—as the confreres of Salvator found out.

Salvator was born during Spain’s Golden Age. Art, politics and wealth were flourishing. So was religion. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus in 1540.

Salvator’s parents were poor. At the age of 21 he entered the Franciscans as a brother and was soon known for his asceticism, humility and simplicity.

As cook, porter and later the official beggar for the friars in Tortosa, he became well known for his charity. He healed the sick with the Sign of the Cross. When crowds of sick people began coming to the friary to see Salvator, the friars transferred him to Horta. Again the sick flocked to ask his intercession; one person estimated that two thousand people a week came to see Salvator. He told them to examine their consciences, to go to confession and to receive Holy Communion worthily. He refused to pray for those who would not receive those sacraments.

The public attention given to Salvator was relentless. The crowds would sometimes tear off pieces of his habit as relics. Two years before his death, Salvator was moved again, this time to Cagliari on the island of Sardinia. He died at Cagliari saying, “Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.” He was canonized in 1938.  http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1328

More Saints of the Day

The Lasallian Prayer:  Let me be the change I want to see.  Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.

 

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