Archive for February 23, 2013

February 24th 2013 – 2nd Sunday of Lent

Posted: February 23, 2013 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

Readings:
Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
Psalm 27:1,7-9, 13-14
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Luke 9:28-36


 

In today’s Gospel, we go up to the mountain with Peter, John and James. There we see Jesus “transfigured,” speaking with Moses and Elijah about His “exodus.”

The Greek word “exodus” means “departure.” But the word is chosen deliberately here to stir our remembrance of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt.

By His death and resurrection, Jesus will lead a new Exodus – liberating not only Israel but every race and people; not from bondage to Pharaoh, but from slavery to sin and death. He will lead all mankind, not to the territory promised to Abraham in today’s First Reading, but to the heavenly commonwealth that Paul describes in today’s Epistle.

Moses, the giver of God’s law, and the great prophet Elijah, were the only Old Testament figures to hear the voice and see the glory of God atop a mountain (see Exodus 24:15-18; 1 Kings 19:8-18).

Today’s scene closely resembles God’s revelation to Moses, who also brought along three companions and whose face also shone brilliantly (see Exodus 24:1; 34:29). But when the divine cloud departs in today’s Gospel, Moses and Elijah are gone. Only Jesus remains. He has revealed the glory of the Trinity – the voice of the Father, the glorified Son, and the Spirit in the shining cloud.

Jesus fulfills all that Moses and the prophets had come to teach and show us about God (see Luke 24:27). He is the “chosen One” promised by Isaiah (see Isaiah 42:1; Luke 23:35), the “prophet like me” that Moses had promised (see Deuteronomy 18:15; Acts 3:22-23; 7:37). Far and above that, He is the Son of God (see Psalm 2:7; Luke 3:21-23).

“Listen to Him,“the Voice tells us from the cloud. If, like Abraham, we put our faith in His words, one day we too will be delivered into “the land of the living” that we sing of in today’s Psalm. We will share in His resurrection, as Paul promises, our lowly bodies glorified like His.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 23, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

love-your-enemies

Do we only love those who are from the same country, nation or religion? Do we love exclusively? We are called to love in spite of, despite of… yet isn’t it too hard? Isn’t it too difficult to love those who have wronged us? To love those who have hurt us terribly? To love those who persecute us?

Yet is it not true that we hope and pray, even expect God to love us in spite of….despite of…to love us regardless?

Who is our greatest role model on love? Is it not our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ? He who was tortured, spat upon, taunted, nailed, hung on a cross and yet forgave us from that very cross we hung Him?

We do Not pray for evildoers who commit atrocities for fun or evil’s sake but why do we pray for those who persecute us? Why did Saint Stephen pray for those who stoned him? Isn’t it because his persecutors have yet to have known Christ? Isn’t it true that we sometimes persecute others because we have not yet come to faith or were rash in doing so?

We through our sufferings and struggles can be perfected in Christ so that we too can love as God loves us and be merciful as God our Father is merciful towards us. Only then can we be assured; when we cry out to our Heavenly Father, “Forgive us our trespassers as we forgive those who have trespass against us.” Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 5:43–48

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.