Gospel Reflection Feb 28 – Msgr. Hendricks

Sunday, February 28

Second Sunday of Lent

Mark 9: 2 – 10

Gospel:

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

Gospel Reflection:

The gospel of the Transfiguration that always occurs on the second Sunday of Lent, was seen to stem from the church in the early centuries to make the point that this miraculous event takes place forty days before the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter.

What is being linked here is the obedience of Abraham to sacrifice his son on the altar of the mountain and the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. The meaning is simply that Abraham rather than cry out about the anger of God and the unfairness of his situation, finds the grace and courage to place all of his trust (including the unthinkable sacrifice of his son) in God. Jesus in turn on the Cross places all of his trust in the Father who speaks of him at his baptism as “my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”

The climb up the mountain by Peter, James, and John (among the first to be chosen as apostles) gives them and us a glimpse of the future and places Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, at the center of all Jewish and human history. Only later after the resurrection do they come to see the import of what he has done for them and later with the gift of the Holy Spirit allows them to make the very same sacrifice of their lives on behalf of the Church they so courageously preached.

As we read this gospel and link it to our lives with all that has happened in the last year, we are encouraged in our commitment of faith and the bending of our will to that of God, so that we come to know we are never alone in our struggles and strive for the obedience and courage of Abraham and Jesus to bring us home.

Monsignor Hendricks

CRS Rice Bowl Week 1: We Can Do Our Part

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