Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 20, 2011 - 2nd Sunday of Lent

On the threshold of the Passover: the Transfiguration 
Genesis 12:1-4 
The LORD said to Abram . . . . "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you . . . "

Psalm 33:4-5,18-20, 22
R.  Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

2 Timothy 1:8-10
"Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God." 
This essence of this reading is VERY hard to capture in any partial quote. It is amazing and needs to read in full. Ironically, it is a very short passage. :-)

Matthew 17:1-9 
And (Jesus) was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.

EMBER DAYS precede this Sunday! Remember that Wednesday, Friday and Saturday  after Quadragesima Sunday (the first Sunday of Lent) are known as "Lenten Embertide."  Liturgically, the lessons for the Wednesday and Saturday Masses focus on the Commandments given to Moses by God, and on the promises to those who keep them well, all ending with the story of the three lads saved by an angel from Nabuchodonosor's furnace, as is so for all but Whit Embertide.

The Gospel readings speak of:
Our Lord discoursing on the sign of Jonas, and how exorcised spirits can return (Matthew 12:38-50)
Healing the paralytic (John 5:1-15)
The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9)

Listen to Him (Author, Scott Hahn / Edited by Soutenus)
This Sunday's Gospel (the 2nd Sunday of Lent/cycle A) portrays Jesus as a new and greater Moses.
    Moses also took three companions up a mountain and on the seventh day was overshadowed by the shining cloud of God’s presence. He too spoke with God and his face and clothing were made radiant in the encounter (see Exodus 24,34).
But in today’s Lenten Liturgy, the Church wants us to look back past Moses. Indeed, we are asked to contemplate what today’s Epistle calls God’s “design . . .  . from before time began.”
With his promises to Abram in today’s First Reading, God formed the people through whom He would reveal himself and bestow His blessings on all humanity.
    He later elevated these promises to eternal covenants and changed Abram’s name to Abraham, promising that he would be father of a host nations (see Genesis 17:5). In remembrance of His covenant with Abraham he raised up Moses (see Exodus 2:24; 3:8), and later swore an everlasting kingdom to David's sons (see Jeremiah 33:26).
    In Jesus’ transfiguration today, He is revealed as the One through whom God fulfills his divine plan from of old.
    Not only a new Moses, Jesus is also the “beloved son” promised to Abraham and again to David (see Genesis 22:15-18; Psalm 2:7; Matthew 1:1).
    Moses foretold a prophet like him to whom Israel would listen (see Deuteronomy 18:15,18) and Isaiah foretold an anointed servant in whom God would be well-pleased (see Isaiah 42:1). Jesus is this prophet and this servant, as the Voice on the mountain tells us today.
    By faith we have been made children of the covenant with Abraham (see Galatians 3:7-9; Acts 3:25). He calls us, too, to a holy life, to follow His Son to the heavenly homeland He has promised. We know, as we sing in today’s Psalm, that we who hope in Him will be delivered from death.
So like our father in faith, we go forth as the Lord directs us: “Listen to Him!”

You can listen to the above post here!
On the threshold of the Passover: the Transfiguration
Scott Hahn's reflection on the Gospel from last year (2010 Cycle C) The reading was from Luke 9:28-36; the subject remains - the Transfiguration of Christ.
In this Gospel reading, 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?” 

Jeff Cavins has a wonderful reflection, as well:

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.


SOURCES: Scott Hahn
USCCB Readings
Preparing for the Mass CycleC @ Catholic Notebook
Jeff Cavins


  1. This is an AMAZING site, Soutenous! Why have you kept it from me for so long? LOL! I am overwhelmed and cannot WAIT til morning when I can spend all day, if I want, looking up all the verses and doing more reading from this site. This is a world of information about our faith ... I am so excited!

    Blessings to you,

  2. So glad you are liking the blog. I started it so that I could easily find my "Preparing for the Mass" posts. We use them during the week to literally -- prepare for the Mass. They were getting lost in the shuffle over at Catholic Notebook.
    So, I decided to give them their own home! LOL
    Now I keep a link on my right side bar over at Catholic Notebook.

    I usually add and edit all through the week.