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2nd Sunday of Lent – Cycle A
March 20th, 2011


Do You Believe?

 

Reading 1

Gn 12:1-4a

 

The LORD said to Abram:
“Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk
and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.

“I will make of you a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you.
All the communities of the earth
shall find blessing in you.”

 

Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22

Responsorial Psalm

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

 

2 Tm 1:8b-10

Reading 2

Beloved:
Bear your share of hardship for the gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

He saved us and called us to a holy life,
not according to our works
but according to his own design
and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,
but now made manifest
through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus,
who destroyed death and brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel.

 

Mt 17:1-9

Gospel

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.”

 

 

 

          I remember one time, a moment, when life finally became very clear for me, at least for a while; when I knew in my heart that I was one with Jesus and so full of the joy of his presence.  Everyone and everything was alive with music and beauty, blue skies and fluffy white clouds; crystal clear water trickling over moss and fern; contentment and peace between brothers, parents, sisters, and children, friends, and neighbors.  This moment in time was a revelation to me, a time when I thought I really knew what my life was all about.  I was on a retreat at the White House Retreat Center near St. Louis.  As I walked along the ridge above the banks of the Mississippi, with rosary in hand, the birds were singing and so many beautiful flowers were in bloom.  One could see the faded sunrise hide behind the fog that filled the river in the early morning, only to burst through in brilliant light within only a few minutes.  The wonder and amazement of it all seemed so transparent, yet remarkably real and present to me.  It was almost as if it were beyond a physical connection to what was around me, but more so a divine connection to the awesome wonders of God.

 

          I wonder if the Transfiguration was something like that for Jesus?  Did his human nature suddenly blossom into the divine nature that he shared with his Father and Spirit who were one with him?  We might never have known about it if three of his disciples, whom he had chosen, had not been privileged to witness, and for the moment when Moses and Elijah stood on either side of Jesus and showed him the life that was his.  We may appreciate that the Transfiguration happened to Jesus in some historical sense, but what if could happen to us?

 

          We will never experience the Transfiguration that is told in this gospel concerning Jesus, at least not in this life, and we most likely would never have known about it had those disciples had adhered to the words Jesus told them.  But like what I experienced on that retreat all them years ago, it is possible to allow ourselves to be immersed in an environment that will take us to a deeper presence of the Lord in our lives.  And the good news is that it doesn’t have to be away from our own homes.  It doesn’t have to be some place else if that is not possible.  That deep presence of Jesus can be achieved in the everyday ordinary experiences of our lives.  It can be achieved by simply willing our being to be with his, totally fixed on him and not the distractions that so often become a barrier.  It doesn’t have to be dramatic.  In the simplicity of our morning prayers;  in the kiss or hug we give our children as they set out for school, or leave home;  in the warmth of the sunshine on a Spring day, 

 

          Whenever we put God first in our lives, not always so easy, but those moments that we do;  those moments that we reach out in love to the poor, the homeless, the elderly, the sick and suffering, the lonely, the depressed, and those less fortunate than ourselves, to the victims of such tragedies as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, volcano eruption, or any natural disaster, we are allowing that bright light of the Transfiguration of Jesus, through us, to be shared and experienced with others, in the simplicity of our everyday ordinary lives.

 

          Perhaps, this is the punch line of this reading.  The Transfiguration is not just a past moment in the life of a long ago dead and risen prophet.  It was about us.  Lent can transfigure us, if we but let it.  It can flood us with light, dazzle us with possibilities.  But any kind of a Transfiguration for us can only happen if we truly believe in Jesus.  And though it man seem like a very difficult thing to do, given the uncertainties of what is going on in the world and especially this country of ours, it can happen.  If we stand together as a people of God, and put God first and foremost in our lives, it can happen, knowing that He is in complete control of His world. 

 

           Lent prepares us for what we are to become.  We strip away our old self, through prayer, sacrifice, fasting, and almsgiving – those coats of grey that cover us.  We scrape away the layers of dead skin that has accumulated over the past year or perhaps even our past life.  As for me, I look at the sinfulness of person who I am, and ask our Lord for his forgiveness, for I know that my sinfulness has to do with people, with relationships, with loved one.  I look at the weakness that I am, and I draw strength from knowing that Jesus loved me, as you does you, so much that he made the decision to give life, that we may enjoy eternal life.  We scour ourselves down to the radiant persons we are to become, heirs of God’s Kingdom, and keepers of God’s world.

 

          In the creed, we profess faith in a God of things “seen and unseen; God of God, Light of Light, True God of True God.”  Today’s reading show us the bright like features of Jesus and then turn a mirror on us and proclaim, See, you too are God’s daughter, God’s son.  Prepare to accept who you are.”  Today, it was for Jesus.  Get ready this Lent, because we are next!

 

© Deacon Steve A. Politte

March 19th, 2011

 

 

 

“Savior, Please” by Josh Wilson

 

 

~ A Letter To God ~



“Dear Lord,
Please help me on my daily walk -
I want to be a better person, your help I need.
It is not enough just to go to church to talk,
Nor is it enough to say “My Bible, I read.”

I know in my heart that I can be better -
Perhaps the person you made in your image so bright,
But I cannot do it alone, so I am writing this letter -
I need the help of all those who walk in your light.

You know who they all are dear Lord -
I do not need to say their names,
For they are the ones
Who always hold us up in prayer
When we are hurt or in pain.

I ask you dear God, in the name of your Son -
Who shed his life's blood for my sins,
To guide and mold me until I become -
Someone who is worthy of being of with Him .

When it is my time to leave this earthly plane -
And join those who have gone on before me,
May I be one who has not lived in vain -
But gave back something and helped others to see.”

God's great love encompasses the future and the past -
And our debts were paid in full on Cavalry,
So remember, all we have to do is just ask -
As He even forgave a sinner like me.

“Thank you dear God for listening to me -
Someday I pray, in your loving presence I'll be,
With all my dear friends, my little one, and my family -
Blessed Savior, sweet Jesus, to You all the praises be.”


© By Karen Kelley
February 26th, 2010





 


 


 

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