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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 2nd (A) of Lent

1st Reading (Gen 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: 32
R/. 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.

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.

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.
2nd Reading (2Tim 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.
Versicle before the Gospel (Cf. Mt 17:5): From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son, hear him.
Gospel text (Mt 17,1-9): Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they were alone. Jesus' appearance was changed before them: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became bright as light. Just then Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. Peter spoke and said to Jesus, «Master, it is good that we are here. If you so wish, I will make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah».

Peter was still speaking when a bright cloud covered them in its shadow, and a voice from the cloud said, «This is my Son, the Beloved, my Chosen One. Listen to him». On hearing the voice, the disciples fell to the ground, full of fear. But Jesus came, touched them and said, «Stand up, do not be afraid». When they raised their eyes, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus. And as they came down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had just seen, until the Son of Man be raised from the dead.

«Jesus' appearance was changed before them»

Fr, Jaume GONZÁLEZ i Padrós (Barcelona, Spain)

Today on our journey to Easter Time, the liturgy of the word shows us the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. Although there is in our calendar a liturgical day, especially for this celebration (August 6th), we are now invited to contemplate the very same scene intimately linked to the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord.

The Passion of Jesus was indeed getting close and six days before his ascent to Mount Thabor, He clearly announced it: He had told them that «he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised» (Mt 16:21).

But the disciples were not yet ready to see the suffering of their Lord and Master. He, who had always been merciful towards the defenseless, who had healed many a skin marred by leprosy, who had given light to so many blind eyes, who had given back motion to so many paralyzed limbs, it could not just be that his body was to be blemished by the thrashing and flogging. And, in spite of everything, He asserts without any concessions: «I had to suffer». Incomprehensible! Impossible!

But in despite all this incomprehension, Jesus knows what He has come to this world for. He knows He has to assume all the feebleness and pain overwhelming the humanity to be able to divinize it and, thus, redeem it from the vicious circle of sin and death, so that the latter defeated —death—, it cannot anymore hold man in bondage; man, who God created in his own image.

This is why, the Transfiguration is a splendid icon of our redemption, where the Lord's flesh appears in a glimpse of his resurrection. Thus, if, with the announcement of his Passion He kindled the anguish of the Apostles, with the glow of his divinity He strengthens their hope while anticipating them the Paschal joy, even though, neither Peter, James or John could understand quite well what did it mean… to be raised from the dead (cf. Mt 17:9). They will eventually find it out!