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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 03-16-14, Second Sunday of Lent
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 03-16-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 03/15/2014 8:08:53 PM PDT by Salvation

March 16, 2014

Second Sunday of Lent

 

 

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.”

Abram went as the LORD directed him.

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

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.

reading 2 2 Tim 1:8b-10

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.

Gospel Mt 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.”



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; lent; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 03/15/2014 8:08:53 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ Ping

Please FReepmail me to get on/off the Lenten Mass Ping List.


2 posted on 03/15/2014 8:13:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Genesis 12:1-4a

Abram and Lot


[1] Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and
your father’s house to the land that I will show you. [2] And I will make of you a
great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will
be a blessing. [3] I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I
will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.”

[4] So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

12:1-6. God’s call to Abraham (the name he would give him instead of Abram: cf.
17:5) marks the start of a new stage in his dealings with mankind, because his
covenant with Abraham will prove a blessing to all nations. It means that Abra-
ham has to break earthly ties, ties with family and place, and put his trust entire-
ly in God’s promise — an unknown country, many descendants (even though his
wife is barren: cf. 11:30) and God’s constant protection. This divine calling also
involves a break with the idolatrous cult followed by Abraham’s family in the city
of Haran (apparently a moon cult) so as to worship the true God.

Abraham responds to God’s call; believing and trusting totally in the divine word,
he leaves his country and heads for Canaan. Abraham’s attitude is in sharp con-
trast with the human pride described earlier in connection with the tower of Babel
(cf. 11:1-9), and even more so with the disobedience of Adam and Eve which was
the cause of mankind’s break with God.

The divine plan of salvation begins to operate by requiring man to make an act of
obedience: in Abraham’s case, he is asked to set out on a journey. This plan will
reach its ultimate goal with the perfect obedience shown by Jesus Christ “made
obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8), whereby all mankind will
obtain the mercy of God (cf. Rom 5:19). Everyone who listens and obeys the
voice of the Lord, all believers, can therefore be regarded as children of Abraham.
“Thus Abraham ‘believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ So
you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the scripture
foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel be-
forehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’ So then,
those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith” (Gal 3:6-9).

Jewish and Christian tradition sees the three things God requires Abram to give
up as epitomizing the demands of faith: “Through these three departures — from
country, kindred and father’s house,” according to Alcuin’s interpretation, “is
meant that we have to leave behind the earthly man, the ties of our vices, and
the world under the devil’s power” (”lnterrogationes in Genesim”, 154).

Abraham’s response also involves an attitude of prayer, an intimate relationship
with God. Although prayer makes its appearance at the very start of the Old Tes-
tament (cf. 4:4, 26; 5:24; etc.), it really comes into its own with our father Abra-
ham, as the “Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “When God calls him,
Abraham goes forth ‘as the Lord had told him’ (Gen 12:4). Abraham’s heart is en-
tirely submissive to the Word and so he obeys. Such attentiveness of the heart,
whose decisions are made according to God’s will, is essential to prayer, while
the words used count only in relation to it. Abraham’s prayer is expressed first
by deeds: a man of silence, he constructs an altar to the Lord at each stage of
his journey. Only later does Abraham’s first prayer in words appear: a veiled
complaint reminding God of his promises which seem unfulfilled (cf. Gen 15:2-3).
Thus one aspect of the drama of prayer appears from the beginning: the test of
faith in the fidelity of God” (no. 2570).

Abraham gets as far as the central part of Palestine, [whence] he moves south,
building as he goes altars to the Lord, to the true God, in places which will be-
come important shrines in later periods. The biblical text shows that Yahweh ac-
companies Abraham and that the latter renders him acceptable worship, in con-
trast with the idolatrous cult practised by the inhabitants of the country (given the
generic name of “Canaanites”). God, for his part, in all his appearances to the pa-
triarch, promises to give this land to his descendants (cf. 13:15; 15:18; 17:8; 26:
4). In this way the text is showing the radical source of the legitimacy of Israel’s
possession of the land of Canaan. However, this promise of a land to the descen-
dants of Abraham goes beyond the empirical fact of acquiring territory, and be-
comes a symbol of the blessings and the divine gifts in which all mankind will
share.

Speaking about Abraham’s faith in the word of God, St Paul interprets Abra-
ham’s “descendants” in the singular, as referring to one descendant only, Jesus
Christ, because only he, being the Son of God and making himself obedient unto
death, possesses all the divine goods and communicates them to man: “Christ
redeemed us [...] that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon
the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit. [...] Now the promi-
ses were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to off-
springs,’ referring to many; but, referring to one, ‘ And to your offspring,’ which
is Christ” (Gal 3:13-16).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 03/15/2014 8:18:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 2 Timothy 1:8-10

St Paul, Herald of the Gospel


[8b] take your share of suffering for the gospel in the power of God, [9] who saved
us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his
own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, [10] and
now has manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abo-
lished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

9-10. There is a theological basis for courageously confronting the difficulties the
Gospel brings with it—the fact that we have been called by God, who has revealed
himself as our Savior. As elsewhere in these letters (cf. 1 Tim 3:15ff; Titus 3:5-7).
St Paul here speaks a succinct hymn in praise of salvation, probably using ex-
pressions based on some liturgical hymn or confession of faith. The salvation
which God brings about is viewed in this passage as it applies to Christians (v. 9)
and is manifested in the incarnation of Christ (v. 10). Four essential aspects of
salvation are identified: 1) God has already accomplished salvation for everyone;
2) it is God, too, who calls all men to avail of it; 3) it is entirely a gift: man cannot
merit it (cf. Tit 3:5; Eph 2:8-9); and 4) God’s plan is an eternal one (cf. Rom 8:29-
30; Eph 1:11).

“The appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ” (v. 10) refers in the first place to his in-
carnation ( cf. Tit 2: 11; 3:4) but it includes his entire work of redemption, which
culminates in his appearing in glory and majesty (cf. 1 Tim 6:14; 2 Tim 4:1, 8).
The Redemption has two wonderful effects—victory over death (physical and spiri-
tual) and the abundant and luminous gift of everlasting life. “He is the true Lamb
who took away the sins of the world. By dying he destroyed our death; by rising
he restored our life” (”Preface of Easter”, I).

“Ages ago”: literally, “from the times of the ages”, a primitive expression meaning
the same thing as “eternity”.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 03/15/2014 8:25:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

From: Matthew 17:1-9

The Transfiguration


[1] And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain apart. [2] And he was transfigured before them,
and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. [3] And
behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. [4] And Peter
said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three
booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” [5] He was still
speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud
said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” [6]
When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe.
[7] But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” [8] And
when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

[9] And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell
no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-13. Realizing that his death will demoralize his disciples, Jesus forewarns them
and strengthens their faith. Not content with telling them in advance about his
death and resurrection on the third day, he wants two of the three future pillars of
the Church ( cf. Gal 2:9) to see his transfiguration and thereby glimpse the glory
and majesty with which is holy human nature will be endowed in heaven.

The Father’s testimony (v. 5), expressed in the same words as he used at Christ’s
baptism (cf. Mt 3: 17), reveals to the three Apostles that Jesus Christ is the Son
of God, the beloved Son, God himself. To these words—also spoken at Christ’s
baptism—he adds, “Listen to him”, as if to indicate that Jesus is also the supreme
prophet foretold by Moses (cf. Deut 18:15-18).

3. Moses and Elijah are the two most prominent representatives of the Old Testa-
ment—the Law and the Prophets. The fact that Christ occupies the central position
points up his pre-eminence over them, and the superiority of the New Testament
over the Old.

This dazzling glimpse of divine glory is enough to send the Apostles into a rapture;
so happy are they that Peter cannot contain his desire to prolong this experience.

5. In Christ God speaks to all men; through the Church his voice resounds in all
ages: “The Church does not cease to listen to his words. She rereads them con-
tinually. With the greatest devotion she reconstructs every detail of his life. These
words are listened to also by non-Christians. The life of Christ speaks; also, to
many who are not capable of repeating with Peter, ‘You are the Christ, the Son
of the living God’ (Mt 16:16). He, the Son of the living God, speaks to people also
as Man: it is his life that speaks, his humanity, his fidelity to the truth, his all-em-
bracing love. Furthermore, his death on the Cross speaks—that is to say the in-
scrutable depth of his suffering and abandonment. The Church never ceases to
relive his death on the Cross and his resurrection, which constitute the content
of the Church’s daily life [...]. The Church lives his mystery, draws unwearyingly
from it and continually seeks ways of bringing this mystery of her Master and
Lord to humanity—to the peoples, the nations, the succeeding generations, and
every individual human being” (John Paul II, “Redemptor Hominis”, 7).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States


5 posted on 03/15/2014 8:26:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Genesis 12:1-4 ©

The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your family and your father’s house, for the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name so famous that it will be used as a blessing.

‘I will bless those who bless you:

I will curse those who slight you.

All the tribes of the earth

shall bless themselves by you.’

So Abram went as the Lord told him.


Psalm

Psalm 32:4-5,18-20,22 ©

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

The word of the Lord is faithful

  and all his works to be trusted.

The Lord loves justice and right

  and fills the earth with his love.

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

The Lord looks on those who revere him,

  on those who hope in his love,

to rescue their souls from death,

  to keep them alive in famine.

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord.

  The Lord is our help and our shield.

May your love be upon us, O Lord,

  as we place all our hope in you.

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.


Second reading

2 Timothy 1:8-10 ©

With me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God who has saved us and called us to be holy – not because of anything we ourselves have done but for his own purpose and by his own grace. This grace had already been granted to us, in Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time, but it has only been revealed by the Appearing of our saviour Christ Jesus. He abolished death, and he has proclaimed life and immortality through the Good News.


Gospel Acclamation

Mt17:5

Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

From the bright cloud the Father’s voice was heard:

‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’

Glory and praise to you, O Christ!


Gospel

Matthew 17:1-9 ©

Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone. There in their presence he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them; they were talking with him. Then Peter spoke to Jesus. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and from the cloud there came a voice which said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him.’ When they heard this the disciples fell on their faces overcome with fear. But Jesus came up and touched them. ‘Stand up,’ he said ‘do not be afraid.’ And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but only Jesus.

  As they came down from the mountain Jesus gave them this order, ‘Tell no one about the vision until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.’


6 posted on 03/15/2014 8:32:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Lenten Meditation on the Cross as a Place of Love, even joy
Ten Tips for the Best Lent [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Station Churches of Rome - Ash Wednesday - Santa Sabina (LIVE coverage 10:30 am)

EWTN adds Lenten scripture challenge to app
Make Your Lent Beautiful with Lent at Ephesus
Ancient Lenten pilgrimage comes to life through new book
Detox Your Soul This Lent
Lent is coming: Time to prepare Printable Lent Worksheet
Cdl. Bergoglio's Lenten Letter, 2013
Your Guide To A Catholic Lent
Following the Truth: Lent: Becoming Uncomfortable About Being Comfortable [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: Spiritual Exercises – Week One [of Lent] In Review
Clerical Narcissism and Lent
Content of Pope's Lenten spiritual exercises revealed
How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God (Ecumenical Thread)
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
On the 40 Days of Lent
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Lent, A Time to Shoulder Our Christian Responsibilities
Consecrate this Lent to Jesus through Mary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [Catholic Caucus]
Opinion: Lent for Redacted [Ekoomenikal]

Ash (or Clean) Monday - Lent Begins (for some Catholics) - February 20, 2012
[Why I Am Catholic]: Lent And Holy Week (A Primer) [Catholic Caucus]
Lent, A Time to Give from the Heart [Catholic caucus}
Learning the beatitudes during Lent -- use your Rosary to learn the Beatitutdes [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Ember Days: March 16th, 18th, and 19th, 2011 (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Vincent Ferrer - Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent [Ecumenical]
Pope describes ‘Lenten road’ that leads to renewal
St. Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - Tuesday's portion (Orthodox/Latin Caucus)
The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Monday's portion) [Orth/Cath Caucus]
Penance and Reparation: A Lenten Meditation(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
For Lent - Top 10 Bible Verses on Penance
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Baptists, Lent, and the Rummage Sale
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Lenten Traditions (Catholic Caucus)
Are You Scrupulous? A Lenten Homily by John Cardinal O’Connor
Blow the Trumpet! Call the Assembly! The Blessings of Fasting
Lenten Challenges

Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
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A Lenten “Weight” Loss Program
On the Lenten Season
Lent 2010: Pierce Thou My Heart, Love Crucified [Catholic Caucus]
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Conversion "is going against the current" of an "illusory way of life"[Pope Benedict XVI for Lent]
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Lent -- Easter 2010, Reflections, Prayer, Actions Day by Day
Stational Churches (Virtually visit one each day and pray)
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
On the Spiritual Advantages of Fasting [Pope Clement XIII]
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent 2010 (Feb 15 = Ash Monday & Feb 17 = Ash Wednesday)
Whatever happened to (Lenten) obligations? [Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving]Archbishop John Vlazny
Vatican Presents Lenten Website: LENT 2009
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]
History of Lent (Did the Church always have this time before Easter?)

Beginning of Lent
Lent (Catholic Encyclopedia - Caucus Thread)
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Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself (with Scriptural references)
40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
Everything Lent (Lots of links)
The Best Kind of Fasting
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Almsgiving [Lent]
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving [Lent]
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Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
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For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
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Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
Pope's Message for Lent-2007
THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
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The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
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Ash Wednesday
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7 posted on 03/15/2014 8:35:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
40 Days for Life -- March 3 through April 13 -- Pray to End Abortion
8 posted on 03/15/2014 8:37:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 03/15/2014 8:47:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 03/15/2014 8:48:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

11 posted on 03/15/2014 8:55:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The 1961 Missal says to use the Sorrowful Mysteries from Ash Wednesday to Easter.


12 posted on 03/15/2014 8:56:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  II BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

13 posted on 03/15/2014 8:57:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

14 posted on 03/15/2014 8:59:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


15 posted on 03/15/2014 9:00:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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March Devotion: Saint Joseph

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to the solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ. "It greatly behooves Christians, while honoring the Virgin Mother of God, constantly to invoke with deep piety and confidence her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph. We have a well grounded conviction that such is the special desire of the Blessed Virgin herself." --Pope Leo XIII

FOR OUR WORK
Glorious Saint Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, 0 Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

FOR THE INTERCESSION OF SAINT JOSEPH
O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

St. Joseph
St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.

The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.

Of St. Joseph's death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ's public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.

At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.

Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; Church; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; pregnant women; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Viet Nam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.

Symbols: Bible; branch; capenter's square; carpenter's tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter's tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.

 

 
Prayer to St. Joseph

Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.

Litany of Saint Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Joseph,
pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Light of the Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Faithful Protector of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most courageous, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of working men, pray for us.
Ornament of the domestic life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of the family, pray for us.
Consoler of the miserable, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church,
pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house.
R. And ruler of all His possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, who in Thy ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may have him for our intercessor in Heaven, whom on earth we venerate as out most holy Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Was St. Joseph a tzadik?
St. Joseph: Patron saint of three Popes [Catholic Caucus]
St. Joseph and the Staircase
St. Joseph, Foster Father, Novena [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Patron of a “Happy Death” A Special Role for St. Joseph [Catholic/Orhtodox Caucus]
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph
Catholic Group Blasts Pelosi For Invoking St. Joseph on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
THE SEVEN SORROWS AND SEVEN JOYS OF ST. JOSEPH
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
Season of Announcement - Revelation to Joseph

In hard times, don't forget about the humble carpenter Joseph
Saint Joseph: Complete submission to the will of God (Pope Benedict XVI) (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph, Patron of a Peaceful Death [Catholic Caucus]
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus
St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Men's National Day of Prayer, MARCH 15, 2008, The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood - St. Joseph as Model
St. Joseph - Foster Father of Jesus
Some divine intervention in real estate-[Bury St. Joseph Statues in Ground]

Many Turn To Higher Power For Home Sales
St. Joseph the Worker, Memorial, May 1
Catholic Devotions: St. Joseph the Worker
Nothing Will Be Denied Him (St. Joseph)
The Heart of a Father [St. Joseph]
St. Joseph's DAY
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Father & Child (Preaching on St. Joseph)
March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders
St. Joseph's Spirit of Silence

St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
St. Joseph [Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Solemnity, March 19
St Joseph’s Paternal Love
The Heart of St. Joseph
MORE THAN PATRON OF HOMES, IT'S TIME FOR ST. JOSEPH TO GAIN HIGHEST OF RECOGNITION [Fatherhood]
The Importance of Devotion to St. Joseph
St. Francis de Sales on St. Joseph (Some Excerpts for St. Joseph's Day 2004)
St. Joseph: REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS (Guardian Of The Redeemer)
(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
How I Rediscovered a "Neglected" Saint: Work of Art Inspires Young Man to Rediscover St. Joseph


Novena to Saint Joseph

O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

O Saint Joseph, assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath, Amen.

O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. O Saint Joseph, pray for me. (mention your intention)

St. Joseph Novena

O good father Joseph! I beg you,  by all your sufferings, sorrows and joys, to obtain for me what I ask.

(Here name your petition).

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers, everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Be near to me in my last moments, that I may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)


16 posted on 03/15/2014 9:01:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pope's Intentions

March 2014

Universal: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.

For Evangelization: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.

17 posted on 03/15/2014 9:01:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Second Sunday of Lent - Year A

Commentary of the day
Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on Saint Matthew's Gospel, no. 56 ; PG 58, 549

"Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

Jesus Christ talked to his disciples a great deal about his sufferings, Passion and death, and he foretold the afflictions they themselves would have to endure and the violent deaths they would one day have to undergo (Mt 16,21-26). That is why, after telling them such hard and difficult things, he tries to comfort them by drawing attention to the reward he will give them when he comes in his Father's glory (v.27)... He wants to show them beforehand, so far as they are capable of it in this life, the great majesty in which he was to come and thus forestall the trouble and sadness his apostles, particularly Saint Peter, might feel before his death...

“Jesus took with him Peter, James and John.” Why only take these three apostles? No doubt because they outstripped the others. Saint Peter because of his ardor, his love; Saint John because he was the disciple Jesus loved (Jn 13,23); and Saint James because he had said along with his brother: “We can drink your cup” (Mt 20,22) and subsequently kept his word (Acts 12,2)...

Why did Jesus cause Moses and Elijah to appear?... He was constantly accused of breaking the Law and blaspheming, appropriating for himself a glory that did not belong to him, the glory of the Father... Therefore, wanting to show that he did not violate the Law and did not attribute to himself a glory that did not belong to him, Jesus calls on the authority of two of the most unimpeachable witnesses: Moses, who had given the Law..., and Elijah, who had burned with zeal for the glory and service of God (1Kgs 19,10)... He also wanted to teach them he was lord over life and death by causing one man who was dead, and another who had been carried off alive in a fiery chariot (2Kgs 2,11), to appear. He wanted, too, to reveal the glory of his cross to his disciples and comfort Peter and his companions who were frightened by his Passion, reviving their courage. For Moses and Elijah spoke with him about the glory he was to receive in Jerusalem (Lk 9,31). That is to say, they spoke of his Passion, his Cross, which the prophets had always called his glory.


18 posted on 03/15/2014 9:05:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Zenit.org

Lent: Exodus of Light and Tents of Peace

Lectio Divina: 2nd Sunday of Lent, Year A

Paris, March 14, 2014 (Zenit.org) Monsignor Francesco Follo | 396 hits

1) Lent: Exodus of penance and light.

     Lent is not just a journey of penance of people grieving for their sin. It is the path of light or better, the conversion to light. The victory over temptation is already a source of transfiguration.

     This Sunday's Gospel presents us with the fact of the Transfiguration of Christ. It is an event that marked the lives not only of Jesus, but also of Peter, James and John and must mark our existence.

     The context is of prayer on Mount Tabor. It is a very special and privileged time. It is the revelation of the divinity of Jesus. It is a moment of light that Jesus had wanted to prepare his disciples for the passion and us too so that we come prepared to Good Friday. We too must enter into the mystery of the Transfiguration and make it our own. Not only must we contemplate the radiant Christ, but become what we behold.

     The first way to participate in the supernatural gift of the Transfiguration is make time to pray and listen to the Word of God; it is to focus our attention over the consecrated Host. Furthermore, especially in this time of Lent, it is to respond to the divine invitation of penance by some voluntary act of mortification outside the renunciation imposed by the burdens of everyday life.

     Another way to live the mystery of the Transfiguration is to imagine the scene described in the Gospel and identify with one of the three apostles who accompanied Jesus on Mount Tabor : " And he was transfigured before them (the three apostles, Peter , James and John ) : his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light" (Mt 17:1-2 ). Jesus is transfigured: the white robes (St. Maximus the Confessor says that, “his clothes became white, bore the symbol of the words of Sacred Scripture that became clear and transparent and bright” Ambiguum 10: page 91, 1128 B) and the shining face take us in the direction of the Son of Man of Daniel, glorious and victorious. In this way, it is revealed that Jesus, who is on his way to the Cross, is the Lord and that He is actually on the way to the light of the Resurrection. The last and painful pilgrimage that Jesus is pursuing hides a Pascal meaning. But it is a fleeting and provisional anticipation: the road ahead is that of the Cross. And in fact, the three beloved disciples, called to see in advance the glory of Jesus, are the same ones that in Gethsemane will be called to see his weakness. Peter, James and John (and we with them), contemplating the divinity of the Lord, are prepared to deal with the scandal of the cross, as it is sung in an old hymn, "On the mount you have transfigured and your followers, as far as they were able, have beheld your glory so that, seeing you crucified, they understand that your passion was voluntary and announce to the world that you truly are the splendor of the Father."

2) The tents and the Tent.

     The Gospel continues narrating that, beside the transfigured Jesus, “Moses and Elijah[1] appeared, conversing with him” (Mt 17:3); Moses and Elijah, the figure of the Law and the Prophets. It was then that Peter, delighted, exclaimed: “Lord, it is good for us to be here! If you want , I will make three tents[2] here , one for you , one for Moses and one for Elijah "(Matthew 17:4) . But I believe that in this Gospel’s passage the tent can be interpreted in reference to the exodus.

     The forty years in the desert were a time of transition and testing, but were also a special time. In the desert, the tents must be erected every evening and put away every morning. The desert is the place of horror and death, the place of scorpions, snakes, the place of thirst and hunger, the place of hidden raiders who fall suddenly on the caravan. But at the same time it is the place of strength and life. Never before as in the desert are the people strong because they are bare, lightweight, carry little baggage but plenty of life, a lot of hope, a lot of energy to cherish it later on when they arrive in the Country[3].

     The desert and the tents were and are a privileged place, the place where you are face to face with God. They are also the place and the time of the total dependence. Already in the desert of the exodus, the facts that the New Testament will take over as the last, messianic and eschatological, namely the water, the manna and the Word, are understood precisely in this sense of total dependence on God.

      The people who live under the tent cannot do without vital elements such as water and food, manna and the quails of the desert (Exodus 16, 1-36 and 17, 1-7). The Lord sends the goods, but the Lord wants the people to have full availability and dependence and to prove it, because the Lord does not miss anything to anyone.

     But we must also speak of the tent with a capital T. In fact, St. Augustine already commented on the phrase of St. Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration, saying that we have a single dwelling: Christ. He “is the Word of God, the Word of God in the Law, the Word of God in the Prophets “(Sermo de Verbis Ev. 78.3: PL 38, 491). The Lord has established his tent among the tents, these tents become the place where to live a true life due to the fact that the Lord is present; He is the Emmanuel, God- with-us, God among us, always.

     This Tent among the tents implies that God becomes like men. It is a God who lowered himself and is almost destroyed, to dwell among the tents of men.

     An example of tents next to The tent are the consecrated Virgins. These women are called to live their lives with availability and full dependence. In the Church, these women are called to give themselves totally to the Lord with the choice of Virginity and continuing to live in the world. Their consecration expresses the importance of a joyful "totality" in the gift of self and of the constant search for the primacy of contemplation in the total availability to service in the Church, with and for brothers.

--

Roman Rite - Second Sunday of Lent - Year A - March 16, 2014

Gn 12:1-4; Ps 33; 2 Tim 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9


19 posted on 03/15/2014 9:10:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY

Awe

Fr. Jerry Pokorsky

“Our God is an awesome God.” Trivializing the real meaning of awe, it’s one of the most annoying lines in pop-religion. Awe is not the response we have for an indulgent father (“Thanks, Dad, you’re awesome”). Awe is a response to an encounter with the infinite majesty of the divine. It is greater than the sense of wonder or mere amazement. There is even something violent in the sense of awe. Awe is uncontrollable and engages the emotions, shaking the body and the soul.

Adam’s response after the creation of Eve is a response of awe to the creative and loving power of God: “At last bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.” Indeed, awe is a magnificent gift. St. Paul describes the awe of heavenly glory when he writes: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9).

But after the fall of Adam, the gift of awe in the presence of the divine has been wounded by sin, introducing the factor of fear. Fear is the emotion that recognizes some kind of danger to life and limb. It also recognizes the insignificance, perhaps even the futility of one’s existence in the presence of the Creator. Adam and Eve were fearful of the Lord after the fall. They covered themselves in shame and hid from His view. Their shame was the result of their sin, their violation of the Creator’s commandments. And they feared divine retribution. Their sense of awe would be forever distorted by fear.

Of course, Scriptures teach us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise” (Ps 111.10). The role of fear is to impel us to follow God’s precepts. Even servile fear is not a bad beginning leading to a righteous life. But servile fear itself needs to be purified if the sense of awe is to be restored to its original dignity and beauty.

St. Peter was awestruck at the beginning of the ministry of Christ after witnessing the miraculous catch (cf. Lk 5). He and the others were violently “seized” with fear in the presence of the divine. But Peter’s awe is filled with fear and a sense of his nothingness. He falls to his knees and begs Jesus, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Similarly, when the disciples saw Christ walking on the sea “they were terrified: ‘It is a ghost,’ they said, and they cried out in fear” (cf. Jn 6). The violent fear of the divine intertwined with their awe-filled sense of His presence is paralyzing.

This Sunday’s Gospel — the account of the Transfiguration — again provides a description of the paralyzing effects of awe in the presence of the divine. Shortly before the Passion, Christ is “transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.” A voice from the heavens directs them, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” The response of the apostles is awe, an awe that includes a violent recoiling in fear. And “when the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid.”

Paradoxically after the fall of Adam fear is not only the “beginning of wisdom” in that it recognizes God’s omnipotence and our sinfulness; it is also a significant obstacle to intimacy with God. A truly loving relationship with God is impossible with mere servile fear. Hence, revisiting the Gospel accounts identified above, every time the apostles are awestruck and paralyzed with fear, Christ intervenes. He repeatedly instructs them to “be not afraid.” His “be not afraid” command transforms their fearful response of awe to a rational faith in the person and mission of Christ.

Their awe, purified of the paralyzing effects of fear, would make it possible for Christ to free them to be “fishers of men.” It would allow them to see Jesus clearly for who He is and witness, “Truly, you are the Son of God.” And finally, their awe, purified of fear, would prepare them to endure the Passion of Christ: “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.’”

During the Last Supper, the revelation as to how awe is liberated from fear comes to completion. Christ tells His apostles, “I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.”

Awe in our encounter with the divine is liberated from servile fear and transformed in the friendship of Christ. Ultimately, it is the awesome power of love — not fear — that impels us to walk with Christ in the intimacy of faith and enter into His kingdom.

Fr. Pokorsky is pastor of St. Michael Church in Annandale.


20 posted on 03/15/2014 9:15:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

Year A  -  Second Sunday of Lent

Transfiguration - His face shone like the sun

Matthew 17:1-9

1 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.
2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.
3 Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.
4 Then Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!"
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear.
7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Get up and do not be afraid."
8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, "Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead." (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I had told my apostles about the sufferings and humiliations which I was going to undertake as part of my mission to save the world. Peter was outraged with the Jews and wanted to protect me but I strongly forbade him because whatever I did was always in accordance with the Will of my Heavenly Father. The other apostles did not fully understand my words, since they could not imagine that something as tragic as my predicted death could occur.

They had seen my miracles, they knew who I was. My remaining days on earth were few and I wanted to impress upon them the knowledge of my divinity.

And it was so disposed by the Divine Will that on that night when my three favorite apostles Peter, John and James came with me to the mountain for prayers, I became transfigured before them. They had the opportunity to look at my divine countenance illuminated by the dazzling light of my being, my entire body radiated light, now they really understood that I was “the light of the world, the sun of justice”. To testify of my spiritual connection with the past I was seen with Moses and Elijah. To make this a testimony of God, my Heavenly Father was heard saying "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!"

No greater consolation could my apostles have in their lifetime, it was a joy that brought renewed courage, enthusiasm and faith to their hearts, which soon would be torn with sorrow for my imminent passion and death.

During the time of the transfiguration Peter said, Lord, it is good for us to be here. And I assure you: it is really good for anyone to come into my Presence and experience the light of my being. It is most rewarding to the soul to seek moments of solitude and prayer in which I come to radiate my light, to give consolation, to strengthen the faith and to share my divinity.

Although you may not see me physically as they apostles did, let me assure you that you are never alone when you pray, I am always ready to listen. The rewards of believing the word of God are beyond your understanding, so there is no time to lose, follow my Father’s advise: “Listen to me!”

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


21 posted on 03/15/2014 9:19:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

Every Round Goes Higher, Higher! – A Sermon for the Second Sunday of Lent

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

The second Sunday of Lent always features the transfiguration. This is done in the first place because we are following the Lord on his final journey to Jerusalem, and this journey up Mt. Tabor was one of the stops that Jesus himself made with Peter, James, and John.

It is commonly held that Jesus did this to prepare his apostles for the difficult days ahead. There’s a line from an old spiritual that says, Sometimes I up, sometimes I’m down, sometimes I’m almost on the ground…..but see what the end shall be. And this is what the Lord is doing here; he is showing us what the end shall be. There is a cross to get through, but there is glory on the other side.

There is also a purpose in placing this account here in that it helps describe the pattern of the Christian life which is the Paschal mystery. For we are always dying and rising with Christ in repeated cycles as we journey to an eternal Easter (cf 2 Cor4:10). This Gospel shows forth the pattern of the cross, in the climb, and rising, in the glory of the mountaintop. Then it is back down the mountain again, only to climb another mountain, Golgotha, and through it, find another glory (Easter Sunday). Here is the pattern of the Christian life: the Paschal mystery. Let’s look a little closer at the Gospel in three stages.

I. The Purpose of Trials. The text says – Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. Now we often pass over this fact: that they had to climb that mountain. And the climb was no easy task.

Anyone who has been to the sight of Tabor knows what a high mountain it is. The climb was almost 2000 feet, high and steep. It may have taken the better part of a day and probably had its dangers. Once at the top it is like looking from an airplane window out on the Jezreel Valley (a.k.a. Megiddo or Armageddon).

So here is a symbol of the cross and of struggle. A climb was up the rough side of the mountain: exhausting, difficult, testing their strength.

I have it on the best of authority that as they climbed they were singing gospel songs: I’m comin’ up on the rough side of the mountain, and I’m doin’ my best to carry on! Another song says, My soul looks back and wonders how I got over! Yet another says, We are climbing Jacob’s ladder, every round goes higher, higher.

Now, this climb reminds us of our life. For often we have had to climb, to endure, and have our strength tested. Perhaps it was the climb of getting a college degree. Perhaps it was the climb of raising children, or building a career. What do you have that you really value that did not come at the price of a climb…of effort and struggle?

And most of us know that, though the climb is difficult, there is glory at the top when we endure and push through. Life’s difficulties are often the prelude to success and greater strength.

Though we might wish that life had no struggles, it would seem that the Lord intends the climb for us. For the cross alone leads to true glory. Where would we be without some of the crosses in our life? Let’s ponder some of the Purposes of problems:

1. God uses problems to DIRECT us. Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get your attention? “Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways,” Proverbs 20:30 says: Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inner most being. Another old gospel song speaks of the need of suffering to keep us focused on God: Now the way may not be too easy. But you never said it would be. Cause when our way gets a little too easy, you know we tend to stray from thee. Sad but true, God sometimes needs to use problems to direct our steps to him.

2. God uses problems to INSPECT us. People are like tea bags; if you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them into hot water! Has God ever tested your faith with a problem? What do problems reveal about you? Our problems have a way of helping us to see what we’re really made of. I have discovered many strengths I never knew I had through trials and testings. There is a test in every testimony and trials have a way of purifying and strengthening our faith as well as inspecting our faith to see whether or not it is genuine. 1 Peter 1:6 says, In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure.

3. God uses problems to CORRECT us. Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It’s likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something health, money, a relationship by losing it. Scripture says in Psalm 119:71-72 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees and also in Psalm 119:67 it says Before I was afflicted, I strayed. But now I keep you word.

4. God uses problems to PROTECT us. A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. A man was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem-but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management’s actions were eventually discovered. Scripture says in Genesis 50:20 as Joseph speaks to his brothers You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

5. God uses problems to PERFECT us. Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Romans 5:3 says We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. And 1 Peter 1:7 says You are being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.

So here it is, the cross symbolized by the climb. But after the cross comes the glory. Let’s look at stage two:

II. The Productiveness of Trials. The text says, 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.”

All the climbing has paid off. Now comes the fruit of all that hard work! The Lord gives them a glimpse of glory! They get to see the glory that Jesus has always had with the Father. He is dazzlingly bright. A similar vision from the Book of Revelation gives us more detail:

I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, ….. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (Rev 1:12-17)

Yes, all the climbing has paid off. Now comes the glory, the life, the reward, the endurance. Are you enjoying any the fruits of your crosses now? If we think about it, our crosses, if they were carried in faith have made us more confident, stronger. Some of us have discovered gifts, abilities and endurance we never knew we had. Our crosses have brought us life!

  1. The other night I went over to the Church and played the pipe organ. It was most enjoyable and the fruit of years of hard work.
  2. Not only have my own crosses brought me life, but the crosses of others have also blessed me and brought me life. The trials do produce. Enjoy it!
  3. St. Paul says, that this momentary affliction is producing for us a weight of glory beyond all compare (2 Cor 4:14). He also says For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Rom 8:18).
  4. An old gospel song says, By and by, when the morning comes, and all the saints of God are gathered home, we’ll tell the story, of how we’ve overcome. And we’ll understand it better, by and by.

So then, here is the glory that comes after the climb. Here is the life that comes from the cross. Here is the paschal mystery: Always carrying about in our selves the dying of Christ so also that the life of Christ may be manifest in us (2 Cor 4:10).

III. The Pattern of Trials The text says, 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.

Notice that, although Peter wanted to stay, Jesus makes it clear that they must go down the mountain for now and walk a very dark valley, to another hill, Golgotha. For now, the pattern must repeat. The cross has led to glory, but more crosses are needed before final glory. An old spiritual says, We are climbing Jacob’s ladder….every round goes higher, higher, soldiers of the cross!

This is our life. Always carrying within our self the dying of Christ so also that [the rising of Christ], the life of Christ may be manifest in us (cf 2 Cor 4:10).

There are difficult days ahead for Jesus and the apostles. But the crosses lead to a final and lasting glory. This is our life too. The paschal mystery, the pattern and rhythm of our life.

Here is an excerpt from the Song We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder. The Text says that every round goes higher, higher! Almost as if imagining a spiral staircase even as the rounds get pitched higher musically. For this is the pattern of our life that we die with Christ so as to live with him. And each time we come back around to the cross, or back around to glory, we are one round higher and one level closer to final glory.


22 posted on 03/15/2014 9:24:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

2nd Sunday of Lent
Reading I: Genesis 12:1-4 II: 2 Timothy 1:8-10


Gospel
Matthew 17:1-9

1And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart.
2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light.
3And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli'jah, talking with him.
4And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah."
5He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."
6When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe.
7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear."
8And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
9And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead."


Interesting Details
One Main Point

God affirms Jesus.

Honor is extremely important in the Jewish culture, and Jesus is going to die a most dishonorable death. This affirmation, and especially the resurrection, ultimately restore the honor of Jesus.


Reflections
  1. Have I ever experienced the affirming Jesus? How does that feel?
  2. How can I hold on to that affirmation, so that I can have enough trust in God to go through the crucifixion with Christ?
  3. Do I really believe in the final victory of Christ and the fullness of His Kingdom? Do my actions reflect that belief?

23 posted on 03/15/2014 9:33:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Second Sunday of Lent
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Genesis 12:1-4
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22
2 Timothy 1:8-10
Matthew 17:1-9

Avoid evil practices; indeed, preach against them. Hear your bishop, that God may hear you. Work together in harmony,: struggle together, run together, suffer together, rest together, rise together, as stewards, advisors and servants of God. So be patient and gentle with one another, as God is with you.

-- St. Ignatius of Antioch


24 posted on 03/15/2014 9:37:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

25 posted on 03/15/2014 9:37:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


26 posted on 03/15/2014 9:38:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Heribert of Cologne

Feast Day: March 16

Born: 970 at Worms, Germany

Died: 16 March 1021 at Cologne, Germany

Canonized: 1075 by Pope Saint Gregory VII

Major Shrine: Deutz

Patron of: rain

27 posted on 03/16/2014 7:34:13 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

Blessed Torello

Feast Day: March 16
Born: 1202 :: Died: 1282


Torello was born at Poppi, Tuscany in Italy. His life as a child in the village was ordinary and normal. But after his father's death, he was left with a small fortune and made the wrong kind of friends. They were boys who drank and wasted their time instead of working. Torello liked his new friends and tried hard to please them.

Then while he was playing sport one day, a rooster flew down from its roost. It landed on Torello's arm and crowed three times, long and loud. Torello was speechless and walked away without finishing the game. He knew he was being warned, just as St. Peter had once been warned that his foolish way of life was leading him away from Jesus.

Torello made up his mind then and there to change his life. He went to see the abbot of San Fedele who helped him make a good confession. Then Torello went out to a quiet place in the forest and chose a spot near a big tree where he spent eight days in prayer. At the end of that time he decided that he would be a hermit.

He went back to Poppi and sold all his property. He kept only enough money to buy the small square plot of land around the big tree he had found in the woods. Next to that tree he built a little shack where he spent the rest of his life. He grew his own vegetables for food and got water from the stream. He prayed and performed penances, the hardest of which was sleeping only three hours a night.

Being a hermit Torello felt close to God and he spent fifty years of his life in peace with God. While he was alive, only one friend knew of Torello's hidden life as a hermit in the forest. Blessed Torello died at the age of eighty in 1282.


28 posted on 03/16/2014 7:50:38 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 17
1 AND after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: Et post dies sex assumit Jesus Petrum, et Jacobum, et Joannem fratrem ejus, et ducit illos in montem excelsum seorsum : και μεθ ημερας εξ παραλαμβανει ο ιησους τον πετρον και ιακωβον και ιωαννην τον αδελφον αυτου και αναφερει αυτους εις ορος υψηλον κατ ιδιαν
2 And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. et transfiguratus est ante eos. Et resplenduit facies ejus sicut sol : vestimenta autem ejus facta sunt alba sicut nix. και μετεμορφωθη εμπροσθεν αυτων και ελαμψεν το προσωπον αυτου ως ο ηλιος τα δε ιματια αυτου εγενοντο λευκα ως το φως
3 And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. Et ecce apparuerunt illis Moyses et Elias cum eo loquentes. και ιδου ωφθησαν αυτοις μωσης και ηλιας μετ αυτου συλλαλουντες
4 And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. Respondens autem Petrus, dixit ad Jesum : Domine, bonum est nos hic esse : si vis, faciamus tria tabernacula, tibi unum, Moysi unum, et Eliæ unum. αποκριθεις δε ο πετρος ειπεν τω ιησου κυριε καλον εστιν ημας ωδε ειναι ει θελεις ποιησωμεν ωδε τρεις σκηνας σοι μιαν και μωση μιαν και μιαν ηλια
5 And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him. Adhuc eo loquente, ecce nubes lucida obumbravit eos. Et ecce vox de nube, dicens : Hic est Filius meus dilectus, in quo mihi bene complacui : ipsum audite. ετι αυτου λαλουντος ιδου νεφελη φωτεινη επεσκιασεν αυτους και ιδου φωνη εκ της νεφελης λεγουσα ουτος εστιν ο υιος μου ο αγαπητος εν ω ευδοκησα αυτου ακουετε
6 And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid. Et audientes discipuli ceciderunt in faciem suam, et timuerunt valde. και ακουσαντες οι μαθηται επεσον επι προσωπον αυτων και εφοβηθησαν σφοδρα
7 And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them, Arise, and fear not. Et accessit Jesus, et tetigit eos : dixitque eis : Surgite, et nolite timere. και προσελθων ο ιησους ηψατο αυτων και ειπεν εγερθητε και μη φοβεισθε
8 And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus. Levantes autem oculos suos, neminem viderunt, nisi solum Jesum. επαραντες δε τους οφθαλμους αυτων ουδενα ειδον ει μη τον ιησουν μονον
9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead. Et descendentibus illis de monte, præcepit eis Jesus, dicens : Nemini dixeritis visionem, donec Filius hominis a mortuis resurgat. και καταβαινοντων αυτων εκ του ορους ενετειλατο αυτοις ο ιησους λεγων μηδενι ειπητε το οραμα εως ου ο υιος του ανθρωπου εκ νεκρων αναστη

29 posted on 03/16/2014 12:35:25 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. And after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain apart,
2. And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
3. And, behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him.
4. Then answered Peter, and said to Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if you will, let us make here three tabernacles; one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

REMIG; In this Transfiguration undergone on the mount, the Lord fulfilled within six days the promise made to His disciples, that they should have a sight of His glory; as it is said, And after six days he took Peter, and James, and John his brother.

JEROME; It is made a question how it could be after six days that He took them, when Luke says eight. The answer is easy, that here one reckoned only the intervening days, there the first and the last are also added.

CHRYS; He does not take them up immediately upon the promise being made, but six days after, for this reason, that the other disciples might not be touched with any human passion, as a feeling of jealousy; or else that during these days' space, those disciples who were to be taken up might become kindled with a more eager desire.

RABAN; Justly was it after six days that He showed His glory, because after six ages is to be the resurrection.

ORIGEN; Or because in six days this whole visible world was made; so he who is above all the things of this world, may ascend into the high mountain, and there see the glory of the Word of God.

CHRYS; He took these three because He set them before others. But observe how Matthew does not conceal who were preferred to himself; the like does John also when he records the preeminent praise given to Peter. For the company of Apostles was free from jealousy and vain glory.

HILARY; In the three thus taken up with Him, the election of people out of the three stocks of Sem, Cam, and Japhet is figured.

RABAN; Or; He took only three disciples with Him, because many are called but few chosen. Or because they who now hold in incorrupt mind the faith of the Holy Trinity, shall then joy in the everlasting beholding of it.

REMIG; When the Lord was about to show His disciples the glory of His brightness, He led them into the mountain, as it follows, And he took them up into the high mountain apart. Herein teaching, that it is necessary for all who seek to contemplate God, that they should not grovel in weak pleasures, but by love of things above should be ever raising themselves towards heavenly things; and to show His disciples that they should not look for the glory of the divine brightness in the gulf of the present world, but in the kingdom of the heavenly blessedness. He leads them apart because the saints are separated from the wicked by their whole soul and devotion of their faith, and shall be utterly separated in the future; or because many are called but few chosen. It follows, And he was transfigured before them.

JEROME; Such as He is to be in the time of the Judgment, such was He now seen of the Apostles. Let none suppose that He lost His former form and lineaments, or laid aside His bodily reality, taking upon Him a spiritual or ethereal Body. How His transfiguration was accomplished, the Evangelist shows, saying, And his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment became white as snow. For that His face is said to shine, and His raiment described to become white, does not take away substance, but confer glory. In truth, the Lord was transformed into that glory in which He shall hereafter come in His Kingdom. The transformation enhanced the brightness, but did not destroy the countenance, although the body were spiritual; whence also His raiment was changed and became white to such a degree, as in the expression of another Evangelist, no fuller on earth can whiten them. But all this is the property of matter, and is the subject of the touch, not of spirit and ethereal, an illusion upon the sight only beheld in phantasm..

REMIG; If then the face of the Lord shone as the sun, and the saints shall shine as the sun, are then the brightness of the Lord and the brightness of His servants to be equal? By no means. But forasmuch as nothing is known more bright than the sun, therefore to give some illustration of the future resurrection, it is expressed to us that the brightness of the Lord's countenance, and the brightness of the righteous, shall be as the sun.

ORIGEN; Mystically; When any one has passed the six days according as we have said, he beholds Jesus transfigured before the eyes of his heart. For the Word of God has various forms, appearing to each man according as He knows that it will be expedient for him; and He shows Himself to none in a manner beyond his capacity; whence he says not simply, He was transfigured but, before them. For Jesus, in the Gospels, is merely understood by those who do not mount by means of exalting works and words upon the high mountain of wisdom; but to them that do mount up thus, He is no longer known according to the flesh, but is understood to be God the Word. Before these then Jesus is transfigured, and not before those who live sunk in worldly conversation.

But these, before whom He is transfigured, have been made sons of God, and He is shown to them as the Sun of righteousness. His raiment is made white as the light, that is, the words and sayings of the Gospels with which Jesus is clothed according to those things which were spoken of Him by the Apostles. Gross. Or; the raiment of Christ shadows out the saints, of whom Esaias says, With all these shall you clothe you as with a garment; and they are likened to snow because they shall be white with virtues, and all the heat of vices shall be put far away from them.

It follows, And there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with them.

CHRYS; There are many reasons why these should appear. The first is this; because the multitudes said He was Elias, or Jeremiah, or one of the Prophets, He here brings with Him the chief of the Prophets, that hence at least may be seen the difference between the servants and their Lord. Another reason is this, because the Jews were ever charging Jesus with being a transgressor of the Law and blasphemer, and usurping to Himself the glory of the Father, that He might prove Himself guiltless of both charges, He brings forward those who were eminent in both particulars; Moses, who gave the Law, and Elias, who was jealous for the glory of God. Another reason is, that they might learn that He has the power of life and death; by producing Moses, who was dead, and Elias, who had not yet experienced death.

A further reason also the Evangelist discovers, that He might show the glory of His cross, and thus soothe Peter, and the other disciples, who were fearing His death; for they talked, as another Evangelist declares, of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. Wherefore He brings forward those who had exposed themselves to death for God's pleasure, and for the people that believed; for both had willingly stood before tyrants, Moses before Pharaoh, Elias before Ahab. Lastly, also, He brings them forward, that the disciples should emulate their privileges, and be meek as Moses, and zealous as Elias. HILARY; Also that Moses and Elias only out of the whole number of the saints stood with Christ, means, that Christ, in His kingdom, is between the Law and the Prophets; for He shall judge Israel in the presence of the same by whom He was preached to them.

ORIGEN; However, if any man discerns a spiritual sense in the Law agreeing with the teaching of Jesus, and in the Prophets finds the hidden wisdom of Christ, he beholds Moses and Elias in the same glory with Jesus.

JEROME; It is to be remembered also, that when the Scribes and Pharisees asked signs from heaven, He would not give any; but now, to increase the Apostles' faith, He gives a sign; Elias descends from heaven, whither he was gone up, and Moses arises from hell; as Ahaz is bidden by Esaias to ask him a sign in the heaven above, or in the depth beneath.

CHRYS; Hereupon follows what the warm Peter spoke, Peter answered and said to Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here. Because he had heard that He must go up to Jerusalem, he yet fears for Christ; but after his rebuke he dares not again say, Be propitious to yourself, Lord, but suggests the same covertly under other guise. For seeing in this place great quietness and solitude, he thought that this would be a fit place to take up their abode in, saying, Lord, it is good for us to be here. And he sought to remain here ever, therefore he proposes the tabernacles, If you will, let us make here three tabernacles. For he concluded if he should do this, Christ would not go up to Jerusalem, and if He should not go up to Jerusalem, He should not die, for he knew that there the Scribes laid wait for Him.

REMIG; Otherwise; at this view of the majesty of the Lord, and His two servants, Peter was so delighted, that, forgetting every thing else in the world, he would abide here for ever. But if Peter was then so fired with admiration, what ravishment will it not be to behold the King in His proper beauty, and to mingle in the choir of the Angels, and of all the saints? In that Peter says, Lord, if you will, he shows the submission of a dutiful and obedient servant.

JEROME; Yet art you wrong, Peter, and as another Evangelist says, knows not what you say. Think not of three tabernacles, when there is but one tabernacle of the Gospel in which both Law and Prophets are to be repeated. But if you wilt have three tabernacles, set not the servants equal with their Lord, but make three tabernacles, yea make one for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that They whose divinity is one, may have but one tabernacle, in your bosom.

REMIG; He was wrong moreover, in desiring that the kingdom of the elect should be set up on earth, when the Lord had promised to give it in heaven. He was wrong also in forgetting that himself and his fellows were mortal, and in desiring to come to eternal felicity without taste of death.

RABAN; Also in supposing that tabernacles were to be built for conversation in heaven, in which houses are not needed, as it is written in the Apocalypse, I saw not any temple therein.

5. While he yet spoke, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear you him.
6. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
7. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
8. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
9. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

JEROME; While they thought only of an earthly tabernacle of boughs or tents, they are overshadowed by the covering of a bright cloud; While he yet spoke, there came a bright cloud and overshadowed them.

CHRYS; When the Lord threatens, He shows a dark cloud, as on Sinai; but here where He sought not to terrify but to teach, there appeared a bright cloud.

ORIGEN; The bright cloud overshadowing the Saints is the Power of the Father, or perhaps the Holy Spirit; or I may also venture to call the Savior that bright cloud which overshadows the Gospel, the Law, and the Prophets, as they understand who can behold His light in all these three.

JEROME; Forasmuch as Peter had asked unwisely, he deserves not any answer; but the Father makes answer for the Son, that the Lord's word might be fulfilled, He that sent me, he bears witness of me.

CHRYS; Neither Moses, nor Elias speak, but the Father greater than all sends a voice out of the cloud, that the disciples might believe that this voice was from God. For God has ordinarily shown Himself in a cloud, as it is written, Clouds and darkness are round about Him; and this is what is said, Behold, a voice out of the cloud.

JEROME; The voice of the Father is heard speaking from heaven, giving testimony to the Son, and teaching Peter the truth, taking away his error, and through Peter the other disciples also; whence he proceeds, This is my beloved Son. For Him make the tabernacle, Him obey; this is the Son, they are but servants; and they also ought as you to make ready a tabernacle for the Lord in the inmost parts of their heart.

CHRYS. Fear not then, Peter; for if God is mighty, it is manifest that the Son is also mighty; wherefore if He is loved, fear not you; for none forsakes Him whom He loves; nor cost you love Him equally with the Father. Neither does He love Him merely because He begot Him, but because He is of one will with Himself; as it follows, In whom I am well pleased; which is to say, in whom I rest content, whom I accept, for all things of the Father He performs with care, and His will is one with the Father; so if He will to be crucified, do not then speak against it.

HILARY; This is the Son, this the Beloved, this the Accepted; and He it is who is to be heard, as the voice out of the cloud signifies, saying, Hear you Him. For He is a fit teacher of doing the things He has done, who has given the weight of His own example to the loss of the world, the joy of the cross, the death of the body, and after that the glory of the heavenly kingdom.

REMIG; He says therefore, Hear you Him, as much as to say, Let the shadow of the Law be past, and the types of the Prophets, and follow you the one shining light of the Gospel. Or He says, Hear you Him, to show that it was He whom Moses had foretold, The Lord your God shall raise up a Prophet to you of your brethren like to me, Him shall you hear. Thus the Lord had witnesses on all sides; from heaven the voice of the Father, Elias out of Paradise, Moses out of Hades, the Apostles from among men, that at the name of Jesus every thing should bow the knee, of things in heaven, things on earth, and things beneath.

ORIGEN; The voice out of the cloud speaks either to Moses or Elias, who desired to see the Son of God, and to hear Him; or it is for the teaching of the Apostles.

GLOSS; It is to be observed, that the mystery of the second regeneration, that, to wit, which shall be in the resurrection, when the flesh shall be raised again, agrees well with the mystery of the first which is in baptism, when the soul is raised again. For in the baptism of Christ is shown the working of the whole Trinity; there was the Son incarnate, the Holy Ghost appearing in the figure of a dove, and the Father made known by the voice. In like manner in the transfiguration, which is the sacrament of the second regeneration, the whole Trinity appeared; the Father in the voice, the Son in the man, and the Holy Spirit in the cloud. It is made a question how the Holy Spirit was shown there in the dove, here in the cloud. Because it is His manner to mark His gifts by specific outward forms. And the gift of baptism is innocence, which is denoted by the bird of purity. But as in the resurrection, He is to give splendor and refreshment, therefore in the cloud are denoted both the refreshment and the brightness of the rising bodies. It follows, And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and feared greatly.

JEROME; Their cause of terror is threefold. Because they knew that they had done amiss; or because the bright cloud had covered them; or because they had heard the voice of God the Father speaking; for human frailty cannot endure to look upon so great glory, and falls to the earth trembling through both soul and body. And by how much higher any one has aimed, by so much lower will be his fall, if he shall be ignorant of his own measure.

REMIG; Whereas the holy Apostles fell upon their faces, that was a proof of their sanctity, for the saints are always described to fall upon their faces, but the wicked to fall backwards.

CHRYS; But when before in Christ's baptism, such a voice came from heaven, yet none of the multitude then present suffered any thing of this kind, how is it that the disciples on the mount fell prostrate? Because in truth their solicitude was much, the height and loneliness of the spot great, and the transfiguration itself attended with terrors, the clear light and the spreading cloud; all these things together wrought to terrify them.

JEROME; And whereas they were laid down, and could not raise themselves again, He approaches them, touches them gently, that by His touch their fear might be banished, and their unnerved limbs gain strength; And Jesus drew near, and touched them. But He further added His word to His hand, And said to them, Arise, fear not. He first banishes their fear, that He may after impart teaching.

It follows, And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus on/y; which was done with good reason; for had Moses and Elias continued with the Lord, it might have seemed uncertain to which in particular the witness of the Father was borne. Also they see Jesus standing after the cloud has been removed, and Moses and Elias disappeared, because after the shadow of the Law and Prophets has departed, both are found in the Gospel.

It follows; And as they came down from the mount, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell no man this vision, until the Son of Man shall rise from the dead. He will not be preached among the people, lest the marvel of the thing should seem incredible, and lest the cross following after so great glory should cause offense.

REMIG; Or, because if His majesty should be published among the people, they should hinder the dispensation of His passion, by resistance to the chief Priests; and thus the redemption of the human race should suffer impediment.

HILARY; He enjoins silence respecting what they had seen, for this reason, that when they should be filled with the Holy Spirit, they should then become witnesses of these spiritual deeds.

Catena Aurea Matthew 17
30 posted on 03/16/2014 12:36:03 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Basilica of the Transfiguration Interior

1924
Mount Tabor, the Holy Land

31 posted on 03/16/2014 12:36:37 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All

Day 98 - Are ... our brothers and sisters? // What can we do unify Christians?

 

Are ... Christians our brothers and sisters also?

All baptized persons belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. That is why also those Christians who find themselves separated from the full communion of the Catholic Church are rightly called Christians and are therefore our sisters and brothers.

Instances of separation from the one Church of Christ came about through falsifications of Christ's teaching, human failings, and a lack of willingness to be reconciled usually on the part of representatives on both sides. Christians today are in no way guilty for the historical divisions of the Church. The Holy Spirit also works for the salvation of mankind in the Churches and ecclesial communities that are separated from the Catholic Church. All of the gifts present there, for example, Sacred Scripture, sacraments, faith, hope, love, and other charisms, come originally from Christ. Where the Spirit of Christ lives, there is an inner dynamic leading toward "reunion", because what belongs together wants to grow together.


What must we do for the unity of Christians?

 

In word and deed we must obey Christ, who expressly wills "that they may all be one" (Jn 17:21).

Christian unity is the business of all Christians, regardless of how young or old they are. Unity was one of Jesus' most important concerns. He prayed to the Father, "that they may all be one ... so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (Jn 17:21). Divisions are like wounds on the Body of Christ; they hurt and fester. Divisions lead to enmities and weaken the faith and credibility of Christians. Overcoming the scandal of separation requires the conversion of all concerned but also knowledge of one's own faith conviction, dialogues with others, and especially prayer in common, and collaboration among Christians in serving mankind. Those in authority in the Church must not let the theological dialogue be interrupted. (YOUCAT questions 130-131)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (817-822) and other references here.


32 posted on 03/16/2014 12:37:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Part 1: The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)

Section 2: The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)

Chapter 3: I Believe in the Holy Spirit (683 - 1065)

Article 9: "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church" (748 - 975)

Paragraph 3: The Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic (811 - 870)

I. THE CHURCH IS ONE

Wounds to unity

2089
(all)

817

In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church — for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame."269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body — here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism270 — do not occur without human sin: Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.271

269.

UR 3 § 1.

270.

Cf. CIC, can. 751.

271.

Origen, Hom. in Ezech. 9,1:PG 13,732.

1271
(all)

818

"However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . ... All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

272.

UR 3 § 1.

819

"Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

273.

LG 8 § 2.

274.

UR 3 § 2; cf. LG 15.

275.

Cf. UR 3.

276.

Cf. LG 8.

Toward unity

2748
(all)

820

"Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time."277 Christ always gives his Church the gift of unity, but the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her. This is why Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion, and does not cease praying to his Father, for the unity of his disciples: "That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, ... so that the world may know that you have sent me."278 The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.279

277.

UR 4 § 3.

278.

Jn 17:21; cf. Heb 7:25.

279.

Cf. UR 1.

2791
827
(all)

821

Certain things are required in order to respond adequately to this call:

·         a permanent renewal of the Church in greater fidelity to her vocation; such renewal is the driving-force of the movement toward unity;280

·         conversion of heart as the faithful "try to live holier lives according to the Gospel";281 for it is the unfaithfulness of the members to Christ's gift which causes divisions;

·         prayer in common, because "change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians, should be regarded as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement, and merits the name 'spiritual ecumenism;"'282

·         fraternal knowledge of each other;283

·         ecumenical formation of the faithful and especially of priests;284

·         dialogue among theologians and meetings among Christians of the different churches and communities;285

·         collaboration among Christians in various areas of service to mankind.286 "Human service" is the idiomatic phrase.

280.

Cf. UR 6.

281.

UR 7 § 3.

282.

UR 8 § 1.

283.

Cf. UR 9.

284.

Cf. UR 10.

285.

Cf. UR 4; 9; 11.

286.

Cf. UR 12.

822

Concern for achieving unity "involves the whole Church, faithful and clergy alike."287 But we must realize "that this holy objective — the reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ — transcends human powers and gifts." That is why we place all our hope "in the prayer of Christ for the Church, in the love of the Father for us, and in the power of the Holy Spirit."288

287.

UR 5.

288.

UR 24 § 2.


33 posted on 03/16/2014 12:45:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Sunday, March 16

Liturgical Color: Violet

Bl. Robert Dalby died on this day in
1589. He was a ... minister in
England who became a Catholic
priest. Catholic persecution was raging
through England and he was soon
arrested. Because he was a priest he
was tortured and killed.

34 posted on 03/16/2014 12:50:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:March 16, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Fall or Winter Sunday Dinner Menu

o    Huevos Rancheros

ACTIVITIES

o    How the Devil Tempts Us

PRAYERS

o    Prayer for the Second Week of Lent

o    Lent Table Blessing 2

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Lent (1st Plan)

LIBRARY

o    A Revival of Christian Culture Through the Family | Jennifer Gregory Miller

·         Lent: March 16th

·         Second Sunday of Lent

Old Calendar: Second Sunday of Lent

Between Moses and Elias Jesus shows forth His divine glory, thus foreshadowing His resurrection. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of all things. Today's Mass places before us the transfigured Lord and the model toward Whom we must tend, and our own transfiguration as the goal we must attain. We attain this goal by a profound realization of our sinfulness and need of a Redeemer; by preserving purity of body and soul; by combating our passions and carnal instincts and observing the commandments and most importantly by participating in the Mass. — Excerpted from Cathedral Daily Missal

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Stational Church


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the book of Genesis 12:1-4. In due time God began the remote preparation for the Incarnation. Almost 2,000 years before Christ was to come he selected Abram to be the father of a people who would be his special friends, his "Chosen People," and through them, the fullness of his revelation. Christ, would come to all men. This is the divine event read for us today.

The second reading is from the letter of St. Paul to Timothy 2 Tim 1:8-10. Timothy, son a pagan father and a Jewish mother, became a Christian, together with his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois, on his first visit to Lystra. Later, Paul appointed him head of the church at Ephesus. This epistle is principally concerned with the pastoral duties of pastors or shepherds of the communities.

The Gospel is from St. Matthew 17:1-9. This momentary vision of Christ, in his glory, was given in order to strengthen the three principal Apostles to face the trials to their faith, which the sufferings and crucifixion of their beloved master would bring on them. For the very same reason it is retold to us today, in the early part of Lent, to encourage us to persevere in our Lenten mortification. It reminds us that, very soon, the Easter bells will be ringing out their message of joy once more. If we are sharers with Christ in his sufferings, we shall be sharers with him in his glory as St. Paul reminds us.

This is a truth we all too easily forget, namely, that we cannot and do not get to heaven in a limousine. Our spell on earth is the chance given us by our heavenly Father to earn an eternal reward. This reward surpasses even the wildest imagination of man. We could never earn it, but God accepts the little we can do and provides the balance of his infinite mercy. And yet there are many, far too many, who refuse even that little bit that is asked of them, and are thus running the risk of not partaking in God's scheme for their eternal happiness.

And are they any happier during their few years on this earth by acting thus towards the God of mercy? Can they, by ignoring God and their duties towards him, remove all pain, all sorrow, all sufferings, from their daily lives? Death, which means a total separation from all we possessed and cherished in this world, is waiting around the corner for all of us. Who can face it more calmly and confidently —he man who is firmly convinced that it is the gateway to a new life, and who has done his best to earn admission through that gateway, or the man who has acted all his life as if death did not exist for him, and who has done everything to have the gate to the new life shut forever in his face?

Illnesses and troubles and disappointments are the lot of all men. They respect neither wealth, nor power, nor position. The man who knows his purpose in life, and is ever striving to reach the goal God's goodness has planned for him, can and will see in these trials of life the hand of a kind father who is preparing him for greater things. His sufferings become understandable and more bearable because of his attitude to life and its meaning. The man who ignores God and tries to close the eyes of his mind to the real facts of life has nothing to uphold him or console him in his hours of sorrow and pain. Yet, sorrow and pain will dog his footsteps, strive as he will to avoid them, and he can see no value, no divine purpose in these, for him, misfortunes.

Christ has asked us to follow him, carrying our daily cross, and the end of our journey is not Calvary but resurrection, the entrance to a life of glory with our risen Savior. The Christian who grasps his cross closely and willingly, knowing its value for his real life, will find it becomes lighter and often not a burden but a pleasure. The man who tries to shuffle off his cross, and who curses and rebels against him who sent it, will find it doubles its weight and loses all the value it was intended to have for his true welfare.

Let the thought of the Transfiguration encourage each one of us today, to do the little God demands of us, so that when we pass out of this life we may be assured of seeing Christ in his glory, ready to welcome us into his everlasting, glorious kingdom.

— Excerpted from The Sunday Readings Cycle A, Fr. Kevin O' Sullivan, O.F.M.


The Station at Rome is in the church of St. Mary in Dominica, on Monte Celio. Tradition tells us that in this basilica was the diaconicum of which St. Lawrence had charge, and from which he distributed to the poor the alms of the Church.


35 posted on 03/16/2014 12:57:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: 2 Timothy 1:8-10

2nd Sunday of Lent

He saved us and called us to a holy life. (2 Timothy 1:9)

St. Paul tells us that we have been called to a holy life. But if you sat in rush-hour traffic when you were already late for work; if you had a dispute with your spouse or boss; if you gave in to the same old temptation yet again—you might consider that holy life to be far, far away.

It isn’t! Go back, and read that verse again. Paul says that God has called you to a holy life. He called you not because of what you can do, not because of what you have done, and not because of what you will do, but “according to his own design.” It’s his design. It’s his call.

God has a plan for you. So often, we reduce that plan to the things we have to do, like spending time in prayer, confessing sin, sharing our faith, or serving at our parish. Of course, these are all good things, and we should seek God’s guidance in them. But they are all small parts of God’s greatest plan: to fill us with his divine life and usher us into the glory of heaven!

We know that the call to holiness can be challenging at times. But it’s not always supposed to be hard. Sometimes it means gazing into the night sky and thinking about God’s goodness. Sometimes it means enjoying a family gathering. At its heart, holiness is a deep assurance that God is with you at all times, whether you are experiencing prosperity or hardship, joy or struggle.

God has a plan for your life—a plan to bring you to holiness. He has the details under control, so don’t worry about them. You will know some of the steps to take in advance, but others you will recognize only in retrospect. But whatever they are, each step will cause you to grow in love and knowledge of God: in holiness!

“Father, thank you for the life you have called me to. Give me grace to trust you with the details as I say yes to you.”

Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22; Matthew 17:1-9

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20,22; 2 Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9)

1. The Church calls Abraham “Our Father in Faith.” How would you describe Abraham’s faith? How would you compare your own faith to Abraham’s?

2. The responsorial psalm provides some of the reasons we can put our faith and hope in God. How would you describe them?

3. The responsorial psalm response ends with these words: “as we place our trust in you”. During a typical day, on whom or on what do you rely most? How can you use this Lent to increase your “trust” and “hope” in God?

4. In the second reading, St. Paul writes to Timothy to bear his “hardship for the gospel” and to do it “with the strength that comes from God.” Aside from ordinary practices of penance and mortification, when and how have you experienced “hardships” for the Gospel? Where did your strength come from to overcome them?

5. St. Paul goes on to say that “immortality” and “light” are ours through a gift from God through Christ; not “according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus.” In what ways can our additional practices of Lenten piety become “works” rather than graces—and a means of being transformed more and more into the image of Christ? How can you use the traditional practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during Lent to open yourself to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ?

6. In the Gospel, Peter was so excited at seeing Christ’s glory that he wanted to “make three tents” and remain on the mountain. The Church also wants us to experience Christ’s presence, especially as we receive him in the Eucharist. What steps can you take to meet Christ in a deeper way during Mass?

7. The last paragraph of the meditation begins with these words: “God has a plan for your life—a plan to bring you to holiness.” Do you believe this? Why or why not? In what way do we have a part to play in this call by spending time in Jesus’ presence in prayer, immersing ourselves in his love, and pondering his word in Scripture? During Lent, are you willing to commit to spending time everyday in prayer in Jesus’ presence and in pondering his word in Scripture? What impact do you expect this to have on your call to holiness?

8. Take some time to pray and ask the Lord for the grace to say yes to his call to holiness. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


36 posted on 03/16/2014 6:48:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

THE TRANSFIGURATION (2)

(A biblical refection on THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT [YEAR A] – 16 March 2014)

Gospel Reading: Matthew 17:1-9

First Reading: Genesis 12:1-4a; Psalms: Psalm 33:4-5,18-19,20,22; Second Reading: 2Timothy 1:8b-10

TRANSFIGURASI - 20

The Scripture Text

And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if You wish, I will make three booths here, one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no on but Jesus only.

And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” (Matthew 17:1-9 RSV)

At the transfiguration, Peter, James and John were privileged to see the glory of Christ as He would be seen at the resurrection and at His return in glory. For a brief moment, they saw Jesus as He “brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel” (2Timothy 1:10), and the vision – along with the Father’s voice – caused them to prostrate themselves in worship (Matthew 17:6).

This Gospel which brings us life and immortality stretches back through the ages of history. It was trust in God’s word to him which moved Abraham to leave his ancestral home and set out in radical obedience and trust of God. It was the promise of blessings to Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 12:2) which sustained Israel throughout its history. It was the same promise of blessings and peace to a world darkened by sin which brought Jesus to earth – the Lamb of God who would overcome sin and death and whose resurrection would reveal the Kingdom of God.

When the disciples saw Jesus radiant in glory, they saw Him as He would appear at the end of time. Having won victory for His people, He would be exalted to the Father’s right hand (Acts 2:33). They saw a glimpse of the fulfilment of the promise so that when they saw Him arrested, beaten, and crucified in humiliation, they would not be crushed. God’s promise of blessing would remain, and they would be able to see that it could only be accomplished through the death of the beloved Son.

Jesus now stands at the Father’s right hand, radiant in glory, and He offers us a share in His glory. Like Abraham, we too are called to obedience and trust, and like Peter, James and John, we are called to follow Jesus on the way of the cross (Matthew 16:24-25). The promise of blessing that was given Abraham extends even to our day. It is a promise of life with God, a promise which we even now begin to experience through the Holy Spirit in us.

In prayer today, let us worship the Lord in our hearts. “In virtue of His own purpose and the grace which He gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago” (2Timothy 1:9), He chose to redeem us and fill us with His Spirit. In gratitude and joy, let us proclaim with Peter, “Lord, it is good for us to be here” (Matthew 17:4).

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to see You. Teach me to look upon all difficulties with gratitude as You show me how to live a transformed life in Your name. Amen.

37 posted on 03/16/2014 6:56:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
A Christian Pilgrim

LISTEN TO HIM

(A biblical refection on THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT [YEAR A] – 16 March 2014)

First Reading: Genesis 12:1-4a; Psalms: Psalm 33:4-5,18-19,20,22; Second Reading: 2Timothy 1:8b-10; Gospel Reading: Matthew 17:1-9

TRANSFIGURASI - 10

No mortal person could see the face of God and live. Why, we cannot even look at the sun directly but we would damage our eye-sight.

But God has accommodated the divine glory to our human limitations. The Word of God has come to us in human flesh. And if we desire to meet God we are told to listen to Jesus: “Listen to Him.”

Our sense of hearing has been specially sanctified through baptism. Recalling how Jesus cured the man who could neither hear nor talk, the celebrant touches the ears and mouth of the newly baptized as he prays: “The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May He soon touch your ears to receive His word, and your mouth to proclaim His faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.”

A practical ideal for Lent might be to check up on our use of these sanctified ears!

The traditional works of penitence are fasting (self-control), almsgiving (towards others) and prayer (towards God). We tend to jump into some active programme of what I will do for God. We take on acts of self-denial or saving for the third world or more prayers, like a do-it-yourself kit for holiness. Why not consider fasting, almsgiving and prayer as three ways in which we can “listen to Him”? We need to fast from noise. In this technological age the mind is assaulted by noise. For most people who desire to develop a prayer-life the first step is to train the mind to attend to sounds which are heard but are normally excluded from our sounds which are heard but are normally excluded from our awareness. We need to fast from compulsive radio and obsessive television. It can be a Lenten programme to sit and listen to sighing windows and creaking radiators, to birds and dogs, to ticking clocks and distant murmurs. Or to walk in quietness in a spring garden or under a starry night.

For alms, we might give our ears and attention to people. Paying attention to somebody is the first work of love. The challenge of Lent might be to spend more time at home; to avoid the newspaper at meals; to sit with people; to visit and to listen.

Most of us complain of our problem in finding time. But busy-ness is usually of our own making. Our ideal must be to make time available for listening to others.

A very busy teacher described how the birth of her children contributed to her development in prayers. The demands of the children on her time made her change her pace and simplify her preoccupations. Life obtained a new meaning for her. She learned to listen … and to pray. Fasting from superfluous noise and learning how to listen will prepare us for the third work of Lent, prayer: especially prayer as listening to God.

One tried and tested way of listening to God is with the words of Scripture. We come to God humbly begging for His word. We seek His word as a lamp for our steps and a light for our darkness. We mull over the passage. We wait with it until some word or phrase or picture stirs up the heart. We stay with it, like a boat on sea, our souls floating with the living words. At baptism our ears were sanctified to receive His word. Lent prepares us for the renewal of our baptism. It calls for us to shun the destructive word, the trivial news-mongering and blaring sensationalism in order to give time and space to the word of God.

Today’s opening prayer at Mass is appropriate: “God our Father, help us to hear Your Son. Enlighten us with Your word, that we may find the way to Your glory.

Note: Taken from Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFMCap., THE GOOD NEWS OF MATTHEW’S YEAR”, Dublin, Ireland: Cathedral Books/The Columbia Press, 1989 [1992 reprinting], pages 55-57).

38 posted on 03/16/2014 7:00:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for March 16, 2014:

Just as Jesus was transfigured and appeared gloriously to Peter, James, and John (Mk 9: 2-10) so too love for your spouse can bring out the best in the other. Recall for a moment your wedding day and the wonder of seeing each other clothed in splendor.

39 posted on 03/16/2014 7:06:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

Second Sunday of Lent- Cycle A

March 16, 2014

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Genesis 12:1-4a

Psalm: 33:4-5,18-20,22

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 1:8b-10 

Gospel Reading: Matthew 17:1-9

 

QUESTIONS:

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 554-556, 444-445

 

Our whole business therefore in this life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen…To this end is directed the whole aim of the Divine and Holy Scriptures, that the interior eye may be purged of anything which hinders us from the sight of God.  -St. Augustine

40 posted on 03/16/2014 7:10:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Lord Tests our Love

Pastor’s Column

 

The Transfiguration—2nd Sunday of Lent-A

March 16, 2014

 

There are so many life lessons the Lord teaches us at the Transfiguration! Who among us would not like to stay on Mount Tabor with the Lord. Just think for a moment: the Lord is revealed in power and glory: from that mountain, you can see forever! People from our past appear to converse with you; everything is clear, everything is possible! Your emotions are running high. So what does Peter say in response to this experience? “Lord, let’s build some tents for these great religious figures; let’s stay here in this moment. We don’t want to ever leave here!”

Mountains and valleys: when we are having a mountain-top experience, everything seems possible; we can see where we are going; and, most importantly, we feel good about life. But staying on top and always feeling good and having a great view is heaven. On earth we can never stay on the mountain. Instead, the Lord brings us here so that we will have strength when the valley of suffering comes, because suffering purifies us and proves our love. Even Jesus could not stay on the mountain! Jesus had not yet suffered on the cross.

As hard as we might try to achieve heaven on earth, none of us can hold onto it. Instead, first we must go through our own wounds and sufferings, our valleys and darkness, because these are absolutely essential to our future. Indeed, our entire eternity depends on how we deal with the valleys God permits in our lives!

A good example of this from life would be the day of our wedding or an ordination to the priesthood. The vows that the couple makes are so wonderful and ideal: “I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health…” A priest makes similar open-ended idealistic promises to God at this time. We think our love will overcome all obstacles and that the good feelings will last forever. Whether a couple is newly married or a priest is newly ordained, they cannot see what lies ahead, and good feelings usually do not last. Instead, real love and commitment begins when we don’t always feel so good about the choice we made or the partner we are walking through life with; and, sometimes, we even feel this way about the Lord, who will at times seem to disappear or not be listening!

Our relationship with God is not just good times. No, he makes it very clear that we will be given our own share of crosses to bear and dark times to endure. We at Saint Edward have gone through a lot of changes lately; a new building, the retirement of a music director we had for 34 years and an inevitable change to how the music sounds, and now a tragic murder and shooting that has affected so many of us who love the people involved.

Yet these are the times that prove our commitment to each other. The goal of a Christian is not to be a self-seeker, but to remain committed to the Lord and each other, not just in the good times when everything goes the way we want, but in the tough times that prove our love.

                                                Father Gary


41 posted on 03/16/2014 7:31:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Reflections from Scott Hahn

Listen to Him: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday of Lent

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 03.14.14 |



Readings:
Genesis 12:1-4
Psalm 33:4-5,18-20, 22
2 Timothy 1:8-10
Matthew 17:1-9

Today’s Gospel 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!”


42 posted on 03/16/2014 7:36:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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2nd Sunday of Lent: "Listen to Him"

 

 

(Raphael)

 

"This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased."

 

Sunday Word:   http://usccb.org/bible/readings/031614.cfm

 

 

Gen 12: 1 – 4a
2 Tm 1: 8b – 10
Mt. 17: 1-19

Mountain top moments in our lives are more occasional than they are the norm.  Those big celebrations: our first communion or confirmation, graduation from high school or college, a wedding day, ordination, the birth of a child, the baptism of that child, a trip overseas, your first grandchild, a 90th birthday party.  In the ebb and flow of everyday life, these moments stand out for us as highlights.  Family members and friends come together to celebrate these significant events; we have pictures of them, we talk about them to others, and they are meant to be joyful times.  When the “party” is over, we may feel sad wishing it could just go on a little longer but sooner or later we know we have to get back to our routine.

 

Our Gospel this second Sunday of Lent presents a mysterious mountain top moment for Jesus and three of his inner circle confidants: Peter, James and John.  It would be great to know what these three disciples of Jesus were thinking as he took them up the mountain.  Maybe Jesus just wanted to get away, far away, from the crowds.  Maybe he wanted to share some personal secret with these three that he could not trust the others with.  Or maybe they recalled that their scriptures reminded told them that a mountain top was always a place of meeting between God and the leaders of his people.  It was the place for Moses to receive the Commandments from God and other times when a high place was the scene of an encounter between God and his people.  The great Temple of Jerusalem was built high in order to be seen by all.

 

But, on this mountaintop they were about to have an experience with Jesus that was intended to strengthen them for the future.  The passion and suffering of Jesus was on the horizon and he knew their faith in him would be greatly tested and those of the other Apostles.  They needed a morale booster, some indelible experience that would reveal more to them in the midst of Jesus’ suffering.  The cross was not the end but the beginning of God’s eternal plan and they would be the direct messengers of that good news to the world.

 

Peter in particular had recently proclaimed the truth about Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” But, they and we as well, needed to know that the glory Jesus would bring was going to be won at a price – the price of our sinfulness which opened up the floodgates of God’s forgiveness and mercy for all humankind.  The Cross loomed soon and the resurrection would put the exclamation point at the end of that sentence.

 

As Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus, who was now mysteriously transformed, they endorse all that Jesus said and did.  That he was the fulfillment of the original covenant given by God through Moses on another mountain, Sinai.  That Jesus was in the line and the fulfilled promise of the great prophets of Israel and Elijah, the greatest of those prophets who had railed against idolatry, now comes to affirm this truth.

 

Yet, in all this shining glory, Peter offers hospitality: “Lord, it is good that we are here . .  . I will make three tents here.” Peter, like most of us want those mountain top experiences to last forever, or at least to go on longer than planned.  Just show me the good stuff don’t tell me anything sad. “What’s the minimum I have to do?”  

 

In this radiant splendor, they see the divine nature of Jesus so why not just take our time and enjoy this for a while.  In short, I think we would all rather take the easy way out. In this present time of technological wonders, why not just hook in to high speed everything and get instant results.  

 

But, as we know, life isn’t that way nor was it going to be for Jesus and his intimate followers.  Nor can it be for us who walk the Christian journey.  Our daily life is a back and forth from cross to resurrection so what sustains us?

 

Like these three intimates of Jesus, it must be the voice of the Father speaking to us about his own son: “Listen to him.”  Where and how does Jesus speak to us? In his Word of the Scriptures, in our prayer, in the sacraments of the Church, in the suffering of others, in your children and your spouse, in the people we serve, in those times when we struggle with confusion about our faith, in the tough and disappointing moments when Christ stands with us.  Basically, not on the mountain only but in the valley where we live.  These three disciples did not descend that mountain alone.   

 

Our first reading reminds us that Abram was called from his comfortable senior living to now fulfill a new mission for God.  Like him we are called to be faithful.

 

Mountain top experiences are important for our lives.  In our gathering for the Eucharist, we need the beauty of holy Mass with an inspiring environment, carefully prepared music, a great homily, faith filled participation of the assembly, kind and compassionate fellow parishioners who are serious about their faith and inspire us, the generous service of others and “ah – hah” moments in prayer. All this is good but we can’t, nor are meant, to stay there.

 

God comes down from the mountain to meet us.  As we journey through this Lent toward the glory of Easter, let’s look for the Lord who walks with us and calls us to hear his voice.

O God, who have commanded us

to listen to your beloved Son,

be pleased, we pray,

to nourish us inwardly by your word,

that, with spiritual sight made pure

we may rejoice to behold your glory.

(Collect of Sunday)

 


43 posted on 03/16/2014 7:44:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop

The Cross is the doorway to communion with God

"The Transfiguration of Christ" by Giovanni Bellini (c. 1487)

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, March 16, 2014 | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Gen 12:1-4a
• Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
• 2 Tim 1:8b-10
• Mt 17:1-9

“Life is short; death is certain,” wrote Blessed John Henry Newman, “and the world to come is everlasting.” It is a fitting introduction to today’s readings, for together they form a powerful discourse about the life, death, and eternity.

There are several rich, if subtle, connections to be found between the reading from Genesis, which describes God’s covenant with Abram, the reading from St. Paul’s second letter to the young Timothy, and the Gospel reading, which recounts the Transfiguration on the mountain. The three that I’ll highlight here can be summarized as calling, blessing, and anticipating. And while these three are always essential to the Christian walk, they have perhaps an even greater force of meaning during the Lenten season.

Calling: The first words of God to Abram (or at the least the first words recorded) are a call to faith and action: “Go forth from the land of your kinfolk…” In a culture in which one’s extended family was the core of one’s social and religious life, this was a call to a completely new life. It required immense trust, especially since Abram would likely never return to see his father’s household and his homeland. But the promises of blessing were just as immense: “I will make you a great nation, and will bless you…” This blessing, of course, was presented in material, temporal terms; there was not yet an understanding of blessings in the afterlife. And so Abram anticipated blessings of a temporal sort: land, a great name, offspring, and far-reaching renown.

Blessing: Paul’s words to his spiritual son, Timothy, could also be applied to Paul’s spiritual father, Abraham, who was saved and called to a holy life, not according to his works, but according to God’s design. And, conversely, God’s words to Abram could also be applied in a certain—but far more profound—sense to the Son of God: he was called to go forth and enter “a land”, that is, first-century Israel. And he became Incarnate so that he would be a blessing to “all the communities of the earth”, and would build a great nation, the Church (cf. 1 Pet 2:9). By taking on flesh and becoming man, Paul notes, God’s grace was “made manifest”. Our savior Christ Jesus, having entered a fallen and sinful land, would destroy death and bring everlasting life.

Anticipating: While in the desert, Moses the lawgiver had taken Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu with him up the mountain to see God (Ex 24:9ff). Elijah the prophet had also been in the presence of God on the mountain (1 Kng 19:8ff). Yet despite having close communion with God, both men experienced rejection at the hands of their own people. Jesus, in taking Peter, James, and John up Mount Tabor, was calling them to a deeper discipleship, to a clearer (and unsettling) understanding of Jesus’ identity and calling, and their own identity and calling. They were blessed, but their blessing came by the way of the cross, for the cross is the doorway to communion with God.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his 2011 Lenten Address, wrote, “The Cross of Christ, the ‘word of the Cross’, manifests God's saving power (cf. 1Cor 1: 18), that is given to raise men and women anew and bring them salvation: it is love in its most extreme form.” The Transfiguration was a foretaste of the power and glory of God; it was a grace meant to shine in the dark night that enveloped the apostles following the crucifixion. It would remind them of their calling, make real their blessing, and keep alive their anticipation.

“The Gospel of the Transfiguration of the Lord,” writes the Holy Father, “puts before our eyes the glory of Christ, which anticipates the resurrection and announces the divinization of man. … He desires to hand down to us, each day, a Word that penetrates the depths of our spirit, where we discern good from evil (cf. Heb 4:12), reinforcing our will to follow the Lord.”

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the March 20, 2011, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


44 posted on 03/16/2014 7:50:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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RegnumChristi

Listen and Learn
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Second Sunday of Lent



Father Todd Arsenault, LC

 

Matthew 17:1-9

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, "This is my  beloved Son; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!" When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Get up and do not be afraid." And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, "Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

Introductory Prayer: I come before you, Lord, a sinner in awe of your great love and mercy. I believe in you, and I put you at the center of my life. I humbly put all that I am before you and, like the apostles, recognize my littleness before your grandeur. With the help of the Blessed Mother’s intercession, I place this meditation in your hands, trusting that you will give me the graces that I need most.

Petition: Lord, teach me how to listen to your voice.

1. Unexpected Graces:Peter, James and John are privileged to go with Jesus atop the mountain where he is transfigured before them. What a splendid sight it was: Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah before their very eyes. They are beside themselves and are in awe at what unfolds. This is the way Christ is with each of us. When we least expect it, he gives us a wonderful dose of his grace to strengthen us in our walk with him. This privilege, however, isn’t simply for us to look at and admire; it is a call to respond to his invitation of love. Jesus was calling these three apostles to a deeper level of love and trust in him; he is doing so with us, too.

2. Listen to Him:At this sight, the apostles are awestruck and don’t know what to say. Peter feels compelled to say something, although it seems he really didn’t know what he was saying. The question is: Why did he feel as if he had to say something? Often in the spiritual life, we can struggle with the temptation to say too much. In this Gospel passage we hear the portentous words of the Father: “This is my son with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Christ is calling us to listen attentively to his words and not to feel compelled to have to say something. He is looking for a response in action more than in words.

3. Get up. Be Not Afraid:When his Transfiguration is over, Jesus gets the three apostles up. This experience of Christ was beyond them. Yet Christ is educating them as to his true nature, his divine nature. They don’t have to be able to explain it or understand it fully; they need to act in faith. This is what we are called to do: act in faith. There is no time for us to be afraid of what the future will bring. We must get up out of our comfort zones and our attitudes, listen to Christ, and do as he says in faith. There is so much for us to do and so little time in which to do it. We need to make use of every instant to learn from the Lord himself through prayer and the sacraments and to make a real difference in the world by bringing more souls to know, love and live for Christ.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for revealing yourself to me and for showing me how to listen to God and do his will faithfully. I know that I can frustrate you, putting my two cents in and talking when I should be listening to you. I need to continue to learn how to listen more attentively to you. Please help me to be open and docile to you and your loving messages for me.

Resolution: In my prayer time today I will dedicate myself to listening to the Lord.


45 posted on 03/16/2014 7:58:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Have Faith in God’s Rescue Mission

 

March 16, 2014
Second Sunday of Lent
Genesis 12:1-4a
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/031614.cfm

It is easy to think that God is distant, uncaring, comfortably sitting in the sky somewhere, and ignoring us. We have a lot of problems and if we were omnipotent, that’s probably how we would treat humanity and everybody else. Total, absolute power sounds like a quick way to establish permanent, perfectly comfortable vacation away from all the noise, evils and “issues” that take up so much of our time. After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, God could have condemned humanity to reap the harvest of its own sin. He could have left us to our own devices or even annihilated us. But he didn’t. Instead, he tracked down a guy named Abraham and calls him to do something unusual—to believe.

Lectionary Plan for Lent

On this Second Sunday of Lent, the Lectionary provides us with a second snapshot of salvation history. The Sunday Old Testament readings for Lent follow a chronological progression. In the first week, we hear of Adam and Eve, in the second, Abraham, then Moses and David, then finally the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah. In this way, the Lectionary takes us by the hand for a whirlwind tour of humanity’s creation, fall, and promised redemption, which will be brought about by Jesus during Holy Week. This chronological telling of Salvation History will be recapitulated in the many readings of the Easter Vigil.

God Launches His Rescue Mission

Here in Genesis 12, God launches his rescue mission to fallen humanity. Adam and Eve sinned; Noah’s generation sinned; the people after the Flood sinned. Our ancestors established a rather consistent track record. God now initiates a more drastic—and yet more subtle—plan of action. He puts in a call to Abraham, who lived in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) and later in Haran (in modern Turkey). This is the beginning of the story of salvation, God’s intervention in history. In fact, when St. Stephen offers his defense to the Sanhedrin, he starts the retelling of salvation history with the call of Abraham (Acts 7:3). The Lord invites Abraham on a mission. He calls him to leave his homeland and family and go to a place where he has never been in order to initiate God’s rescue plan for humanity. Abraham plays a key role as the father of the Chosen People and the Father of Faith. His “yes” to God begins the story of Israel, within which Jesus will appear to bring salvation to the whole world.

Promises and Fulfillments

When calling Abraham to leave, the Lord offers him three main promises: a great name, land and worldwide blessing (“to all the families of the earth”). The “great name” promise might sound like a promise of fame or wealth, but what God is offering to Abraham is a royal dynasty, that kings will come from his line of descendants (cf. Gen 17:6). This promise will be fulfilled in the reign of David and his dynasty. The promise of land points to the special land of Canaan which God set aside for the people of Israel. The promise of land points back to the Garden of Eden, forward to the Temple, and ultimately to a sharing in God’s own rest—that permanent vacation I mentioned. Lastly, God promises that he will use Abraham to bless all the families of the earth—not just his own descendants, but everybody, both Jew and Gentile. This promise will reach fulfillment in the spread of the Gospel message: that God offers salvation to all through his son Jesus, that the path to God’s rest, the ultimate Promised Land, is now open to anyone willing to repent and believe.

Abraham, the Father of Faith

Abraham’s response to God’s grand promises and call is very simple, but it changes the course of human history: he obeys. The passage says, “Abraham went as the Lord directed him” (Gen 12:4 NAB). His straightforward response reveals what true faith looks like. Faith is not an emotion, nor is it some complex philosophy. Rather, it is a trust in God that bears fruit in obedience. St. Paul talks about the “obedience of faith” (Rom 1:5). Abraham demonstrates what this looks like by simply obeying God’s calling. Abraham is the father of all who have faith, all who trust in God for salvation, all who believe in the Gospel of his son Jesus (Romans 4). St. Paul says, “those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith” (Gal 3:9). We get to enter into the worldwide blessing promised to Abraham by believing. Faith is the doorway into God’s blessing.

Abraham’s choice to obey God, to heed his call, to leave his comfort zone and follow God offers us a stirring example. God’s calling on our lives might not be as earth shattering or history altering as Abraham’s call, yet we can respond with the same faith and generosity that he did. In addition, Abraham’s call shows us that while we might think we’re the ones searching for God, it is actually he that is searching for us. He initiates the relationship. As part of his invitation to Abraham, he includes promises. His fidelity to these promises, demonstrated through the history of Israel and the life of Jesus, encourages us that we have a God who remembers and is trustworthy. We can respond to his call with a well-founded hope of entering into that rest which He enjoys.


46 posted on 03/16/2014 8:10:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture Speaks: Why Do You Worry?

Jesus takes His closest friends up a mountain to pray, an action packed with meaning for Jews.  Why?

Gospel (Read Mt 17:1-9)

The meaning of today’s Gospel reading is greatly enriched if we understand the context in which it appears, both within Matthew’s Gospel and the larger story of salvation history.  Time spent on this will bear good fruit.

In Matthew 16, after Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, the apostles get a nasty shock.  Jesus tells them that He is destined for suffering and death.  When Peter resists, Jesus sharply rebukes him (“Get behind Me, Satan!” in 16:23) for thinking as men do about suffering, not as God does.  To men, this kind of suffering for the powerful Son of God would mean weakness, impotence, and failure.  Jesus wants to teach the apostles that His suffering and death will be the path to glory.  He has even more disturbing news, too.  “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (16:24).  A call to discipleship is a call out of self to follow Jesus, to share His sufferings, no matter what the cost.  As disturbing as all this might be, Jesus assures the apostles that suffering and death won’t be the end.  “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (16:28).

Six days after this conversation, “Jesus took with Him Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves” (17:1).  Thus begins the episode in today’s reading, when these three apostles see Jesus as they have never seen Him before—radiating divine light and talking with Moses and Elijah, the only men in the Old Testament ever to talk with God on a mountain.  Interestingly, there were prophecies about the “reappearance” of both these men in the Scriptures (see Deut. 18:15; Malachi 4:5).  The apostles received a privileged revelation of Jesus’ divinity within His humanity, because both His face (divinity) and His garments (humanity) “shone like the sun.”  Here was the fulfillment of Jesus prophecy that “some standing here” would behold the glory of the Son of Man in His kingdom.  Here, too, was the proof that whatever suffering lay ahead for Jesus, it did not come out of weakness.  It was suffering He freely chose.

This revelation came in the context of a foundational event in Israel’s history—God’s covenant with His people on Mt. Sinai after their exodus from slavery in Egypt.  There He gave Moses and the people the Ten Commandments (or “Ten Words,” as they were often called in Israel), and He came down on the mountain and spoke to the people out of a fiery cloud of smoke.  His Voice terrified them so much that Moses had to reassure them:  “Do not fear, for God has come…that the fear of Him may be before your eyes, that you may not sin” (Ex. 20:20).  Why was sinning to be avoided?  It was a bondage worse than slavery in Egypt.  The “Ten Words” were a path out of sin for the people.  The fireworks on Mt. Sinai were a severe mercy to them, as Moses explained so well.  Later, Moses took three friends up the mountain with him to commune with God.  Moses spent so much time conversing with God in the fiery cloud that his face shone with light when he returned to the camp below.

None of this history was lost on Peter.  Why does he suggest building three tents (or “booths”)?  Luke’s Gospel tells us that Moses and Elijah were talking to Jesus about His departure (“exodus” in Greek).  The people of Israel remembered their exodus out of Egypt, as well as the giving of the Law on Sinai, in the Feast of Tabernacles (or “Booths”):  “You shall dwell in booths (tents) for seven days…that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God” (Lev. 23:42-43).  No wonder that when Peter heard of Jesus’ exodus, he wanted to build tents and preserve this moment a little longer!

Jesus’ new exodus was not a departure from Jerusalem, however, nor was it to be restricted to the people of Israel.  He was to defeat God’s enemy, Satan (not Pharaoh), to lead all men out of bondage to sin (which is the bondage to self) and death, and to take them on a journey to their true home, Heaven.  God’s Voice from the cloud declared, “This is My Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.”  Jesus is the New Moses, as well as the new Law.  God’s “Ten Words” become His One Word:  Jesus.  We only hear God the Father speak twice in the whole New Testament, at Jesus’ baptism and here.  Both times He speaks only of Jesus.  God, the Father, says to us:  “Listen to Him” on this journey home.  Mary, His Mother, as she did at Cana, says to us:  “Do whatever He tells you” on this journey home.

When the apostles heard God speaking from the cloud, they were frightened and fell to the ground, always an appropriate response to God’s Voice.  Jesus touched them and said, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”  They had been told of the suffering that lay ahead, both for Jesus and themselves.  They had seen the glory that lay ahead, too, a glory they were destined to share, just as Moses and Elijah did.  They were humbled and brought low, but Jesus called them, with His touch, to begin their journey with Him without fear.  Their own transfiguration had begun.

Possible response:  Lord, help me this Lent to see that the glory Your suffering gained is meant for me, too—both the suffering and the glory.  I often try to get one without the other.

First Reading (Read Gn 12:1-4a)

We might expect the Old Testament reading to be from the Book of Exodus, since the Transfiguration draws so heavily upon that history.  Instead, we go all the way back to Genesis, to the first “exodus” of God’s people.  When God called Abram, He said, “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land I will show you.”  This is the first conversion in salvation history.  On the strength of God’s promise, Abram had to pack up his family and leave for a place he didn’t know.  This kind of leave-taking, or “exodus,” is always at the heart of conversion.  To make our journey home to heaven, we must always leave something behind for something better.  In this, Abram is our “father in faith.”  God’s promise to him was to bless “all the communities of the earth” through him, and that blessing comes through his descendant, Jesus, Who leads all nations back to God.

Possible response:  Lord, are you asking me today to “go forth,” letting go of something and holding on only to You?  Please help me to trust You as Abram did.

Psalm (Read Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22)

The psalm continues a theme of deliverance, of God’s promise to preserve all those who are will to obey His Voice:  “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.”  As we absorb the lessons from these passages and desire to answer Jesus’ call to rise and leave ourselves, to follow Him without fear, we will want to sing this song as we go:  “LORD, let Your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in You.”

Possible response:  The psalm is, itself, a response to our other readings.  Read it again prayerfully to make it your own.

Second Reading (Read 2 Tim 1:8b-10)

In the epistle, St. Paul is writing to Timothy, who was the bishop of the Church in Ephesus.  See how he combines both the truths that Jesus wanted to teach the apostles in Matthew 16-17.  He exhorts Timothy to “bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.”  There is no avoidance of suffering for followers of Jesus.  However, St. Paul assures Timothy that God has a plan to lead us to glory (as revealed in the Transfiguration), a plan that existed “before time began.”  Yes, there will be hardship, but, in Christ Jesus, we know there is also victory over death, “life and immortality.”

Possible response:  Lord, you have loved me from “before time began.”  Why do I worry so much?


47 posted on 03/16/2014 8:12:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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One Bread One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 2

<< Sunday, March 16, 2014 >> Second Sunday of Lent
 
Genesis 12:1-4
2 Timothy 1:8-10

View Readings
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22
Matthew 17:1-9

Similar Reflections
 

CONVERSATION PEACE

 
"Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them conversing with Him." —Matthew 17:3
 

It is extremely important that we hear the Lord and converse with Him. The most important conversation we will ever have with the Lord will be on the subject of His death and resurrection. However, this is the most difficult subject of conversation for us.

Jesus' transfiguration was an attempt to help us converse with Him about His death and resurrection. When we see Jesus glorified, we realize "the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us" (Rm 8:18). When we see Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah (Mt 17:3), we see how our conversation with Jesus is supposed to be. Finally, when we hear the Father command us to listen to Jesus (Mt 17:5), we realize that we'd better listen to Him whether we want to or not.

Never has a conversation ever been so dramatically introduced as the one following the transfiguration. Nevertheless, when Jesus once again tried to engage the apostles in conversation about His passion, death, and resurrection, they broke off the conversation. At Jesus's "words they were overwhelmed with grief" (Mt 17:23). So the transfiguration seemed at first a failure. However, after the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the transfiguration took effect (see 2 Pt 1:17-18). Jesus' disciples not only conversed with Him about His death and resurrection; they even lived crucified and risen lives. Then they took up their daily crosses and witnessed for the risen Christ.

 
Prayer: Jesus, may I be fully engaged in conversation with You.
Promise: Jesus "has robbed death of its power and has brought life and immortality into clear light through the gospel." —2 Tm 1:10
Praise: Jesus is risen! We can live with Him forever! Thank You, Jesus.

48 posted on 03/16/2014 8:40:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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49 posted on 03/16/2014 8:49:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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