Extracted from the letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians 3:17-4:1:
My brothers, be united in following my rule of life. Take as your models everybody who is already doing this and study them as you used to study us.
I have told you often, and I repeat it today with tears, there are many who are behaving as the enemies of the cross of Christ. They are destined to be lost. They make foods into their god and they are proudest of something they ought to think shameful; the things they think important are earthly things.
For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe.
So then, my brothers and dear friends, do not give way but remain faithful in the Lord. I miss you very much, dear friends; you are my joy and my crown.
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Luke 9:28-36:
Jesus took with him Peter and John and James and went up the mountain to pray. As he prayed, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became brilliant as lightning.
Suddenly there were two men there talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep, but they kept awake and saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As these were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ – He did not know what he was saying.
As he spoke, a cloud came and covered them with shadow; and when they went into the cloud the disciples were afraid. And a voice came from the cloud saying, ‘This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.’
And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. The disciples kept silence and, at that time, told no one what they had seen.
The following Readings were read in Holy Mass on 24 February 2013, 2nd Sunday of Lent, Year C:
1st Reading: Genesis 15:5-12,17-18 (see previous page),
Responsorial: Psalm 27:1,7-9,13-14 (see previous page),
2nd Reading: Philippians 3:17-4:1 (see above) &
Gospel Reading: Luke 9:28-36 (see above).
We have extracted the Sermons of Blessed Pope John Paul II & Pope Benedict XVI based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you so that you could similarly be encouraged:
JOHN PAUL II
Second Sunday of Lent, 7 March 2004
1. “Jesus took Peter, John and James, and went up onto a mountain to pray” (Luke 9:28): this is how the Gospel of the Transfiguration of Christ begins, characterizing this Second Sunday of Lent. Luke the Evangelist stresses that Jesus is transfigured on the high mountain while praying, immersed in intimate and profound dialogue with God the Father. A dazzling light radiates from him, a foretaste of the glory of the Resurrection.
2. Each year in preparation for Easter, Lent invites us to follow Christ in the mystery of his prayer, source of light and strength in time of trial. In reality, to pray means to be spiritually immersed in God, in an attitude of humble cohesion to his will. The interior light that transfigures the human person comes from this trusting abandonment to God, making the person a witness of the Resurrection. However, it is only in listening to Christ, in following him with docility even to the passion and Cross, that this can become a reality. We must look towards him “because there is salvation in no one else but him, the Son of God”.
3. Twenty five years ago, precisely at the beginning of Lent, I wanted to extend to the entire world this message in the Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (cf. n. 7). If human beings want to know themselves thoroughly, I wrote at the time, they must draw near to Christ, enter into him, “appropriate” and assimilate the entire reality of the Redemption (cf. n. 10). How true this truth still remains today!
May the Virgin Mother of the Redeemer help us to start afresh from Christ to build a world according to the true dimension of the human being.
After the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father said:
Next Saturday [13 March], at 5:45 p.m., a Marian prayer vigil will be held in the Paul VI Audience Hall on the occasion of the Second European Day of University Students with the theme: “Christ, hope for Europe”. Dear University students, I await you in large numbers! We will entrust to Mary, Sedes Sapientiae, the way for the European people.
I wish you all a good Sunday.
At the conclusion of the Angelus, the Holy Father said the following:
During the week of Retreat in the Vatican, I did not forget the painful situation that exists in certain African nations and in the Middle East, especially in the Holy Land and in Iraq.
Those suffering because of unacceptable acts of violence and terrorism, which can only serve to worsen the condition of life of these dear populations, are our brothers and sisters.
As I pray for them and invite you to do the same, I would like to ask once again that the pathway be found to forgiveness and reconciliation.
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
St Peter's Square
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On the Second Sunday of Lent, the Evangelist Luke emphasizes that Jesus went up on the mountain "to pray" (9: 28), together with the Apostles Peter, James and John, and it was "while he prayed" (9: 29) that the luminous mystery of his Transfiguration occurred.
Thus, for the three Apostles, going up the mountain meant being involved in the prayer of Jesus, who frequently withdrew in prayer especially at dawn and after sunset, and sometimes all night.
There is another detail proper to St Luke's narrative which deserves emphasis: the mention of the topic of Jesus' conversation with Moses and Elijah, who appeared beside him when he was transfigured. As the Evangelist tells us, they "talked with him... and spoke of his departure" (in Greek, éxodos), "which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem" (9: 31).
Therefore, Jesus listens to the Law and the Prophets who spoke to him about his death and Resurrection. In his intimate dialogue with the Father, he did not depart from history, he did not flee the mission for which he came into the world, although he knew that to attain glory he would have to pass through the Cross.
On the contrary, Christ enters more deeply into this mission, adhering with all his being to the Father's will; he shows us that true prayer consists precisely in uniting our will with that of God. For a Christian, therefore, to pray is not to evade reality and the responsibilities it brings but rather, to fully assume them, trusting in the faithful and inexhaustible love of the Lord.
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Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the words of Pope Benedict XVI, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.