- Sunday, 21 February 2016 09:53
“Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them…” (Mark 9:2)
Jesus takes them up Mount Tabor, “to show them the full truth about himself, about his divinity, so that they can have hope in eternal life and they remember this experience of divinity, of bliss, of eternity, when it comes time to suffer through the passion. In considering this scene at Tabor, we try to go to Jesus, to look at him, so that we may be enlightened. So that whether we are ill, suffering or dying– or sick and tired– we actually try to discover the Tabors behind the Calvaries” (Fr Javier del Castillo).
This gospel reading is reading twice per year: today on the second Sunday of Lent and in August on the feast of the Transfiguration. Do we recognize that Jesus is the center of our life of faith? Do we recognize that the death and resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate gift given to us that is foretold with this great of event personally experienced by Peter, James and John?
Detail of Raffaella’s “Transfiguration.”
- Wednesday, 10 February 2016 06:21
Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent. On this day, the observance of fast and abstinence begins. Pope St. Leo teaches that the main purpose for fasting is not that the body be deprived of food, but that the mind at the same time be withdrawn from wickedness, we should endeavor during Lent, not only to be temperate in eating and drinking, but especially to lead a modest life, sanctifying the days by persevering prayer and devoutly attending the Church’s liturgy.
- Sunday, 29 March 2015 10:14
These thoughts of an esteemed theologian, Olivier Clement seem worth sharing on season of Lent:
“Asceticism can only be understood in the perspective of the resurrected, liturgical body. Asceticism signifies the effort to strip away our masks, those neurotic identities that usurp our personal vocation. It is an effort based not on will-power, but on a ceaseless abandonment of oneself to grace…. Asceticism is the struggle, the self-abandonment of openness and faith, which allows the Spirit to transform the anonymous body of our species into a body of ‘language’ that expresses both the person and communion among persons. Thanks to this ascetic struggle, we are gradually transformed from an acquisitive body, that treats the world as its prey, into a body of celebration, that unites itself to the ecclesial liturgy and thereby to the cosmic liturgy.”
Olivier Clement (1921-2009) was a French Eastern Orthodox theologian 1921-2009. He was a Professor at St.Serge in Paris and the author of many books and articles and was the editor of the magazine Contacts.
- Sunday, 15 March 2015 10:25
Today, the 4th Sunday of Lent–Laetare Sunday we here from the gospel of Saint John (3:14-21). One among several sentences from the gospel stand out: “Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” It is the Son of God who saves me from me and offers me a terrific gift: heaven.
A reflection from Saint John Chrysostom gives persepctive: “The text, ‘God so loved the world’, shows such an intensity of love. For great indeed and infinite is the distance between the two. The immortal, infinite majesty without beginning or end loved those who were but dust and ashes, who were loaded with ten thousand sins but remained ungrateful even as they constantly offended him. This is who he ‘loved’! For God did not give over a servant, or an angel or even an archangel but ‘his only begotten Son.’ And yet no one would show such anxiety even for his own child as God did for his ungrateful servants.”
- Tuesday, 10 March 2015 10:18
I saw this post the other day, “The Big Three of Lent.” Thought I would share:
Fasting is not just a spiritual diet. By denying our bodies, our physical hunger reminds us of the hunger of our souls for God, our longing for a deeper relationship with Our Lord.
Almsgiving teaches us to separate ourselves from material possessions. By freely giving of our money and possessions we learn to trust the Lord more deeply for our own daily needs.
Prayer during Lent is a way to stir up our love and enthusiasm by having a deepening conversation with the Almighty. Remember that the light of God’s love shines more brightly in the darkness of the recognition of our own sinfulness.