Today, on this second Sunday of Lent, the Gospel reading we hear in the Liturgy of the Word at Mass tells the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus. To a Jewish audience this story echoes of Moses in the Book of Exodus, where Moses comes down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, and "[Moses] did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the LORD" (Ex 34:29). Here, in Mark's Gospel, we encounter what Matthew also recorded in his depiction of the Transfiguration event, "Jesus was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light" (cf. Mt 17:2). Jesus, joined by Peter, James, and John, encounters the law and the prophets of the Old Testament when then "Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus" (Mk 9:4). Today, as we enter the second week of Lent, we are reminded and given a glimpse of the glory to come in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are encouraged to call to mind what glory awaits for those who abide in the Lord. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. As we approach Easter we will find this promise fulfilled as he establishes his New Covenant. Let us continue on our Lenten journey; let us open our hearts to Jesus and encounter him in the Holy Scriptures; let us encounter him face-to-face as we receive him in the Eucharist in the Mass. Blessed are we indeed who are called to the Supper of the Lamb! For a brief and interesting reflection on today's Gospel reading, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Today the Universal Church celebrates the Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist. In the sixth chapter of Mark's Gospel we encounter John the Baptist, martyr and bold witness to truth and life. As we read in today's Magnificat, "John put his trust in the Word of God he had been sent to preach, and not in the princes, whom he offended by his commitment to the truth. He defeated the power of evil not by violence but by his self-surrender to God's will (Magnificat, Aug 29, 2020; http://www.magnificat.net). For more about this great saint, and for a brief and interesting reflection on today's Gospel reading, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
In the tenth chapter of Matthew's Gospel, "Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword." This is a striking statement from Jesus, no doubt. Although swords are most commonly associated with warfare, they were also used in other contexts ... So why is Jesus mentioning a sword? For a brief and interesting reflection on today's Gospel reading, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:27-28). For a brief and interesting reflection on today's Gospel reading, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Still today there is confusion on this figure of Jesus Christ. Some wish to fashion him as just a great teacher, espousing great moral truths on how one should live out one's life and treat one's neighbor. But Jesus did not leave room for such an interpretation. He, in fact, spoke in the person of God. Even religious teachers like Buddha, or Muhammad, or Confucius did not claim to be God. But Jesus did. Though some wish to present Jesus as purely a "human Christ," a teacher and great prophet, a thorough biblical understanding of Jesus points to Jesus as fully human and fully divine - that He is God Incarnate; Jesus is the Word made flesh - in whom humanity's salvation rests. For a brief and interesting reflection on today's Gospel reading, please click on the image. Peace be with you!