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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A Transfigured Home. The Second Sunday of Lent 2021

                                               A Transfigured Home.

The Second Sunday of Lent 2021

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February 28, 2021

Genesis 22:9-18; Psalm 116; Romans 8:31-34; Mark 9:2-10



Abraham showed obedience to God when we was ready to offer the offspring of his flesh and blood to God, but God changed around the human sacrifice that was common in the ancient world. Instead of Abraham preparing the sacrifice, God provided if for Abraham. God was pleased with the Abraham’s obedience of faith. In the Gospel, God is likewise pleased with the obedience of faith of Jesus. From the beginning of his ministry up to the Transfiguration, Jesus was obedient to God and was duly recognized for his life’s work. Though he appears with Moses, as the Law, and Elijah, as the prophetic tradition, Jesus is the only one whose fidelity was on the mark. He is singled out as God’s Beloved One and the journey to the Cross can now begin.


We struggle with what it means to do God’s will, because as people of goodwill, we want to please God. We don’t always know what that means or how we are to do it. This passage, like many other Gospel passages, instructs us to squarely look to the person of Jesus for the answers. His personal responses to us supersede anything found in our teachings and the voices of others in our tradition, and it surely will be based on how much we have the capacity to love; He has the answers for us as the Beloved of God. With that said, we focus upon our personal relationship with the Risen Jesus as our touchstone. 


During Lent, we are asked to learn from Jesus, to watch how he makes decisions, to see how he interactions with those who suffer – and with those who have influence over the fate of others. We check in to see what he values and we ask how deeply we share those values. We note how we was obedient to God so we can be likewise. As the weeks progress, we notice how Jerusalem and the Cross loom on the horizon, and there is a quickening of and a deepening of our friendship with Christ. Will we remain with him as he goes through his Passion? What will I do in response to his suffering? What is Jesus asking me to do? We get to know Jesus as a friend, what he feels, how he thinks, how he loves, what he dreams about. 


Jesus has a dream; it is God’s dream. Jesus calls every person to enter into that dream with him. When we bring our life dreams into the dream of Jesus, we find out how we are to use all the talents and drives and passions that are God’s gifts to us. We allow God to transform our drives and passions in ways that we could never have dreamed.


It is often helpful for us to assess our relationship with Jesus by imagining a person meeting Jesus after his death. The man says to Jesus, “I wish I had known you better in life,” to which Jesus responds, “I wish I had known you better.” Our friendship with Jesus in eternal life will be much richer if we get to know him in this life, so the friendship continues into the next. We want to be able to hear these words, “Welcome, my friend, welcome home. Tell me what you just experienced. Let’s catch up. I’m glad we are together again because I missed you so much.”


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading:

Monday: (Daniel 9) We have rebelled against you God and sinned, but you have remained faithful to us in the covenant. You, O Lord, have justice on your side. 


Tuesday: (Isaiah 1) Wash yourselves clean and make justice your aim. Obey the commandments and take care of your neighbor.


Wednesday: (Jeremiah 18) The people of Judah contrived against Jeremiah to destroy him by his own words.


Thursday: (Jeremiah 17) Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings. More tortuous than all else is the human heart. The Lord alone probes the mind and tests the heart.  


Friday: (Genesis 37) Israel loved Joseph best of all, which created resentment among his brothers, who later sold him into slavery for twenty pieces of silver. 


Saturday: (Micah 7) God removes guilt and pardons sins and does not persist in anger. 



Monday: (Luke 6) Jesus said, “Be merciful,” and “Stop judging because you will be judged by the way you judge.”


Tuesday: (Matthew 23) The scribes and Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Be wary of someone’s teaching if they have no integrity between their words and actions. 


Wednesday: (Matthew 20) As Jesus went up to Jerusalem, he told his disciples, “Behold. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests, condemned to death, handed over to Gentiles, an crucified, and will be raised on the third day.”


Thursday: (Luke 16) A rich man dressed in purple garments died shortly after Lazarus, a beggar. In heaven, Lazarus was rewarded and the rich man was tormented in hell. He appealed to God to spare his family, but was told that they would not listen to Moses or to anyone who was raised from the dead.


Friday: (Matthew 21) Jesus told the parable of a vineyard owner, who entrusted the land to servants, but these men seized the land and possessed it. They killed the servants and the heir. When the owner returned, he cast the wretched men into a tormented death. 


Saturday: (Luke 15) Jesus is accused of welcoming sinners and eats with them. He then tells the story of the prodigal one who was well received by his father upon his return. The one who was lost has been found.


Saints of the Week


March 1: Katherine Drexel (1858-1955), was from a wealthy Philadelphian banking family and she and her two sisters inherited a great sum of money when her parents died. She joined the Sisters of Mercy and wanted to found her own order called the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to work among the African and Native Americans. Her inheritance funded schools and missions throughout the South and on reservations. A heart attack in 1935 sent her into retirement. 


This Week in Jesuit History


  • Feb 28, 1957. The Jesuit Volunteer Corps began. 
  • Mar 1, 1549. At Gandia, the opening of a college of the Society founded by St Francis Borgia. 
  • Mar 2, 1606. The martyrdom in the Tower of London of St Nicholas Owen, a brother nicknamed "Little John." For 26 years he constructed hiding places for priests in homes throughout England. Despite severe torture he never revealed the location of these safe places. 
  • Mar 3, 1595. Clement VIII raised Fr. Robert Bellarmine to the Cardinalate, saying that the Church had not his equal in learning. 
  • Mar 4, 1873. At Rome, the government officials presented themselves at the Professed House of the Gesu for the purpose of appropriating the greater part of the building. 
  • Mar 5, 1887. At Rome, the obsequies of Fr. Beckx who died on the previous day. He was 91 years of age and had governed the Society as General for 34 years. He is buried at San Lorenzo in Campo Verano. 
  • Mar 6, 1643. Arnauld, the Jansenist, published his famous tract against Frequent Communion. Fifteen French bishops gave it their approval, whereas the Jesuit fathers at once exposed the dangers in it.

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