Readings/Gospel and Reflection 28.2.2021

Second Sunday of Lent

Lectionary: 26

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

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.

Reading II

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

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

Gospel

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.

REFLECTION

 

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. Mark 9:2–3

The many teachings of Jesus were hard for many to accept. His command to love your enemies, to take up your cross and follow Him, to lay down your life for another, and His call to perfection were demanding, to say the least. So as a help for all of us to embrace the challenges of the Gospel, Jesus chose Peter, James and John to receive a small vision of Who He truly is. He showed them a glimpse of His greatness and glory. And that image most certainly stayed with them and helped them every time they were tempted to get discouraged or despair over the holy demands our Lord placed upon them.

Recall that prior to the Transfiguration, Jesus taught His disciples that He would have to suffer and die and that they must also follow in His footsteps. So Jesus revealed to them a taste of His unimaginable glory. The glory and splendor of God is truly unimaginable. There is no way to comprehend His beauty, magnificence and splendor. Even in Heaven when we see Jesus face to face, we will eternally enter deeper and deeper into the incomprehensible mystery of God’s glory.

Though we are not privileged to witness the image of His glory as these three Apostles were, their experience of this glory is given to us to ponder so that we will also receive the benefit of their experience. Since the glory and splendor of Christ is not just physical but also essentially a spiritual reality, He can give us a glimpse of His glory also. At times in life, Jesus will give us His consolation and instill within us a clear sense of Who He is. He will reveal to us through prayer a sense of Who He is, especially when we make the radical choice to follow Him without reserve. And though this may not be a daily experience, if you have ever received this gift by faith, then remind yourself of it when things get difficult in life.

Reflect, today, upon Jesus as He is now fully radiating His glory in Heaven. Recall that image whenever you find yourself tempted in life toward despair or doubt, or when you sense that Jesus simply wants too much of you. Remind yourself of Who Jesus truly is. Try to imagine what these Apostles saw and experienced. Allow their experience to become yours also, so that you will be able to daily make the choice to follow our Lord wherever He leads.

My transfigured Lord, You are truly glorious in a way that is beyond my comprehension. Your glory and splendor are beyond what my imagination can ever comprehend. Help me to always keep the eyes of my heart upon You and to allow the image of Your Transfiguration to strengthen me when I’m tempted to despair. I love You, my Lord, and place all my hope in You. Jesus, I trust in You.

From Catholic Daily Reflections.com