Thursday, August 22, 2019

Second Sunday of Lent

Second Sunday of Lent

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 26

1st Reading – GN 22:1-2, 9A, 10-13, 15-18

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he replied.
Then God said:
“Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust
on a height that I will point out to you.”

When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD’s messenger called to him from heaven,
“Abraham, Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he answered.
“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger.
“Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”
As Abraham looked about,
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.

Again the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
“I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth
shall find blessing—
all this because you obeyed my command.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19

R. (116:9) I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
I believed, even when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted.”
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the house of the LORD,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.

2nd Reading – ROM 8:31B-34

Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all,
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?

Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us, who will condemn?
Christ Jesus it is who died—or, rather, was raised—
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.

Verse Before The Gospel – CF. MT 17:5

From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard:
This is my beloved Son, listen to him.

Gospel – MK 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Joy at the Transfiguration

Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Mark 9:5

Peter was excited, perhaps beyond any excitement he had experienced before. In fact, to say he was excited is most certainly an understatement. It may be more appropriate to say that he was overwhelmed! Why was this the case? Because he had just been given a very small glimpse of the glory and splendor of God!

This is the Transfiguration. Jesus took Peter, James and John and they went up a high mountain together. These three Apostles had no idea what was coming. Most likely while on the way they were complaining interiorly, wondering why they had to go up the mountain. But the mountain is a symbol of our upward journey to Heaven. It takes focus and drive, commitment and resolve to go there, and it’s an elevated place, a place away from the ordinary occurrences of life.

So they were on this difficult climb up the mountain and suddenly they stopped in shock and awe. They saw before their eyes Jesus changed in a glorious way, His clothing being whiter than any white they had ever seen. And Moses and Elijah, the great Law-giver and the great Prophet, were there before them conversing with Jesus.

And what was going on in Peter’s head? What was he experiencing? He was experiencing a small glimpse of the glory and splendor of God. Jesus, who up until this moment had kept His divinity veiled, lifted the veil ever so slightly. And with the lifting of that veil, His divinity shone through brighter than anything this world could ever contain. And Peter, James and John did not know what to think. But Peter cried out that he wanted to build three tents, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah! For within that momentary experience, he experienced the desire to remain there forever.

So why did Jesus give these Apostles this very brief experience of His glory? Because they would need that taste of His goodness for the road ahead. They would need to forever remember what their final destiny was. They would need to hold this experience close as they endured the many crosses and sufferings ahead. And they would use this experience to remind themselves that whatever they had to endure on the journey up the mountain of life is worth it. Because on the summit is a glory so great that no hardship they would have to endure would ever prove to be too big.

God wants to give that message to us through them. He wants us to ponder this experience they had and He wants us to try to enter into it so that we too can willingly press on during the journey.

Reflect, today, at the beginning of Lent, on the glory of God that makes the crosses we endure all worth it. Take advantage of this experience of Peter, James and John and try to make their experience your own. Be consoled by God’s glory and never forget that this is the ultimate promise He gives to all who press on.

Lord, may I be consoled by Your glory and splendor. May I believe in this glory and keep it ever in my mind as I press on through the hardships and challenges I face. You travel the road ahead of me and You will lead me on my journey if I only trust in You. Jesus, I do trust in You!

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB 

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About Laban Thua 1020 Articles
I am a Commissioned Liturgy Minister and also a Lector at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church. Am also a Commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA), Member and a Lover of the Catholic Church and its teachings. My passion is disseminating the Catholic Daily Readings and Reflections, Bible Verse of the Day, Catholic Quote of the Day and Catholic Saint of the Day Information every day to all Catholic Faithfuls throughout the world.