2nd Sunday of Lent

1st Reading: Genesis 15:5–12, 17–18

The Lord God took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.  Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.”  Abram put his faith in the Lord, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.  He then said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as a possession.”  “O Lord God,” he asked, “how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He answered him, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”  Abram brought him all these, split them in two, and placed each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not cut up.  Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram stayed with them.  As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram, and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.  When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces.  It was on that occasion that the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates.”

2nd Reading: Philippians 3:17 – 4:1

Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us.  For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their end is destruction.  Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their “shame.”  Their minds are occupied with earthly things.  But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.  Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord.

Gospel: Luke 9:28b–36

Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray.  While he was praying, his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.  Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.  As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  But he did not know what he was saying.  While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.  Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”  After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.  They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.

THE TRANSFIGURATION: Abraham is promised to be the father of a large nation. God is a miracle worker and he is in charge even when all seems lost. As Jesus is Transfigured, his divinity and oneness with God is revealed in glory. He is the Christ and base for our being Christian. In Baptism, we become part of God’s nation, and gain a citizenship that shall culminate in Eternal Life, if we play our part faithfully. When we live positively, we become transfigured so that our lives radiate Christ and our lives become a manifestation of Christ’s presence among people. Breaking the baptismal agreement means not being faithful to it and thus making ourselves enemies of eternal salvation. We cannot be true Christians if we fail to defend and keep our baptismal promises. For our relationship with the Church to be sound, for our relationship with God to be sound and profitable, like Abraham, we must be ready to defend and protect our faith (Gen 15:11). We must be ready to scare away anything that may want to make us to break the agreement.

Prayer: Lord, help all Christians to be faithful to the covenant which they made with you at the time of their baptism.


STRENGTHENED BY THE GLORY: Why does the Church choose the story of Christ’s Transfiguration during Lent? We can see in the transfiguration event the way in which the Lord is preparing his disciples for what they will experience during Jesus` agony in the garden and passion and death. The transfiguration experience is a preparation for the disciples’ share in Christ’s sacrifice that will lead finally to Easter. Similarly, Lent is meant for all of us to be a time of preparation. Lent prepares us to recall and relive our own share in the passion and death of Jesus which finally leads us to the celebration of Easter. Just as the transfiguration event prepared the disciples for what would follow, Lent prepares today’s followers of Christ for the Easter celebration. As a season of preparation for our celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Christ’s eventual victory over sin and death, Lent looks both at what is our present need for renewal and also of our assurance of the victory Christ has won for us. In this sense Lent is both forward looking and at the same time soul searching in the present. What we look forward to can give us the strength and courage to deal with our need for renewal in the present. The transfiguration narrative is intended to give the disciples the strength and courage that they would soon need.