Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2nd Sunday of Lent

The word transfiguration is commonly defined as "a dramatic change in appearance, especially on that reveals great beauty, spirituality, or magnificence." Thus the mountain of Transfiguration is an image of what is to come for Jesus and for us. Through his death and resurrection Jesus is not only transfigured, but is restored to life by the glory of the Father. It is a life that we come to share through the waters of baptism. In the opening prayer today we ask of God that, "with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory." The glory of God is revealed in Jesus. This is the truth of God's revelation and love. For us to begin the process of transfiguration, then, we must invest in the truth and not simply acknowledge it. The more we enter God's truth, the more we read the Scriptures, meditate and reflect upon the word of God and actively seek a connection with God, that is when we begin to notice and confront all those things in our life with the mind of Christ, that is when we become transfigured. It is then that we believe that we shall behold God's glory and see Him face to face. This is when we come to the fullness of the Resurrection.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

1st Sunday of Lent

On our money we find the words, "In God We Trust". Do we? Or do we put our trust in ourselves or science or a certain theology or philosophy or political view? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary trust is "assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something." Jesus models for us how to trust in God at all times and in all circumstances.

Today we hear of Jesus' temptations and how he stands his ground with the devil. Jesus knew that God was with him. He knew that God would care for him. Jesus placed his trust in God.

Like Jesus, we can be tempted to rely on ourselves, using our power only for our own good. We can place our trust in people or things that are not worthy of that trust.

Lent is the time for us to go into the desert and remember that we have been filled with the Spirit of God in baptism and had the gifts of the Spirit deepened in confirmation. We mustn't forget the words of St. Paul who said: "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Let us follow Jesus' example and trust in God!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

On Ash Wednesday, we begin the season of Lent by receiving ashes on our forehead. Receiving ashes in the shape of a cross identifies us as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The ashes also serve as reminders of human mortality and the need for repentance and change in our lives. This day is a time for fasting and abstaining from meat. We begin the forty-day season of Lent by keeping our sights on Jesus' victory over death on Easter. Lent is a time for change - changing our lives to be more Christ-like. Lent is a time when we make space in our lives to think about our relationship with our heavenly Father and the ways in which we are responding or failing to respond to his love and care for us. This desire to change our lives toward God and away from sin finds outward expression in various ways: prayer, fasting, almsgiving, reading the Bible, praying the Rosary, following the Stations of the Cross, going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This Lent, when we receive ashes, keep in mind that it is an invitation to repent, a challenge to grow closer to the Lord, and a gentle reminder that our time on earth is limited.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

4th Sunday In Ordinary Time

We all like to feel special. We tell our children that they are special and they are! We look to honors and awards that acknowledge our achievements. Excellent work sometimes gets rewarded with bonuses that signify an exceptional job. In the Gospel, Jesus points out that God's choice is not always the same as those who might be recognized by humankind. The opening prayer for today's Mass asks God to help us "love everyone in truth of heart." It is a reminder that God shows no partiality. All people are special in God's eyes, even those we may not think are such!