Sunday, March 12
Second Sunday of Lent
Matthew 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.”
On this Second Sunday of Lent the church once again gives us the powerful account of Jesus’ Transfiguration where Peter, James and John have an experience of seeing Jesus as being truly amazing. They are able to recognize that He is amazing, for they contemplate Him for who He really is. On the mountain, Jesus shines as the true source of light that He is, and the Father affirms His delight and the trust placed in Him. Naturally, recognizing that they are in the presence of God, the disciples are frightened as they fall on their faces, but they want to stay in that presence. ‘Lord’, Peter says,’ it is wonderful for us to be here.’ Through Jesus’ transfiguration, the disciples see the true face of Jesus, and there is not a thing that they would change; for suddenly they know He is truly amazing just the way He is – fully human and fully divine.
As you go to Mass this Sunday at this point in Lent, the Gospel is also an encouragement for us to see who we really are as God’s amazing children. The manifestation of God’s glory in Jesus is a gift to us to help us see something that is very often hard to acknowledge – that in Christ we too are beloved sons and daughters of God. Lent is a perfect time to look beyond the surface and get in touch with our unique fashioned selves. Jesus, transfigured and hearing how he is the Father’s Beloved, can speak those same words to our hearts this day and in the days to come.
Deacon Frank Iannarino
OPERATION RICE BOWL: WEEK 2
Sacredness and Dignity of the Human Person
Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Sacredness and Dignity of the Human Person, we remember that, when God created us, he made us in his image and likeness. That means that every human being has a special value and purpose. We need to care for each other so that we can be the people God calls us to be.
Evelina Banda, like generations of Zambians before her, used to survive on meals made from corn flour, usually a porridge called “nshima.” “Growing up, I’d eat porridge in the morning, at lunchtime and again in the evening,” she says. After all, it was cheap and easy to make.
Unfortunately, nshima has very little nutritional value — and relying too heavily on it has led to high rates of malnutrition. Many in Zambia have full bellies, but little nourishment. And this is particularly dangerous for children under the age of two, who need high levels of vitamins and minerals to grow up healthy and strong. That means mothers who are nursing — as well as their children — need nutritious meals.
So, CRS is teaching women like Evelina how to prepare healthier meals and grow new, vitamin-rich crops like peanuts, pumpkins and sugar cane. In many cases, these crops were already being grown in the village. Now, Evelina and others are adding more nutritious food to their children’s nshima: ground peanuts or eggs, for example. And, what the women learn, they share with their community — especially expectant mothers.
“We sing and dance during the cooking lessons because we are happy to learn how to cook different types of food,” says Evelina. Evelina is healthier, and so is her son, Steven. “I know I am taking good care of him, because he’s full of energy, he’s strong and never sick,” she says, with a smile. Watch about a 4 minute video to meet Evelina and learn about the work of Catholic Relief Services in Zambia http://www.crsricebowl.org/stories-of-hope/week-2