« In the Liturgy of the First Sunday of Lent, the first Reading was taken from the 2nd and 3rd chapters of the Book of Genesis.
« The first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis are not historical, in the way the events are narrated.
« However they are also historical in the sense that they try to explain the process of creation, the reality of sin and temptation.
« Using a symbolic language full of images they transmit to us a theological reflection on these realities.
« In the liturgy of the Second Sunday of Lent, the first reading is taken from chapter 12 of Genesis.
o From chapter 12 on there is a change in perspective in the book of Genesis
o The first 11 chapters show us the work of God, who gives without measure and looks for men and women over and over again.
o At the same time these chapters also tell us how men and women respond to the generosity of God by sinning and following the temptation of Paradise “you will be like gods”. Men and women turn away from God, their creator, to follow their own ways of sin and corruption.
o In chapter 12 God intervenes again, doing something new. Like in creation when God called man to existence now he calls another man Adam. This man will accept the call and will obey the God of the Mountain, as he calls Him, “El Shaddai” אל שדי. The God of the patriarchs, which is the same God of Moses YHWH, the only God. The translation of El Shaddai is God Almighty.
o With Abram a new stage begins in human history in its relationship with its creator.
FIRST READING Gn 12, 1-4
o The Lord tells Abram to leave the land of his kinsfolk and from his father’s house to a land that the Lord will show him.
§ He is asked to leave without knowing the destination, with the sole trust in the word of the God who spoke to him from the mountain
o God makes 7 promises to Abram
§ I will make of you a great nation
§ I will bless you
§ I will make your name great
§ So that you will be a blessing
§ I will bless those who bless you
§ I will curse those who curse you
§ All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you.
o Abram leaves as God has asked him
§ His reaction to the word of God is completely different from that of the first fathers: Adam and Eve, the people of Noah’s time, the people of the tower of Babel. These did not obey the word of God, Abram goes forth as God has told him, he does not know where, but he trusts the word of the Lord God Almighty
§ Thus he will be a blessing and not a curse as our first fathers were.
§ A new adventure begins for the human race.
SECOND LETTER TO TIMOTHY
Ø The letters to Timothy are considered “deutero-paulines”. The name deutero is given to a group of letters which scholars think have not been written by Paul but by some of his disciples. The letters written by Paul are called Proto-Paulines.
Ø The Letter to Timothy seems to have been written after the death of Paul.
Ø These letters belong also to the group of letters called Pastoral letters, which are addressed to Bishops: Titus and Timothy who had been collaborators of Paul in his ministry.
« God has called us also to a life of holiness. Holiness is to live our life according to the will of God.
« We have seen the answer of Abram to the call of God.
« We have been called to a life of holiness in Christ Jesus.
« The Father has called us to this holiness of life before the creation of the world.
« Christ has brought us salvation and immortality by despoiling death of its power.
GOSPEL Mt. 17,1-9
§ This text narrates the transfiguration of the Lord, the revelation of the Lord to his disciples.
§ Not to all the disciples but only to three, the same who will be the witnesses of his agony in the garden of Getsemani.
§ From the Mountain Jesus gives them a glimpse of his glory, he reveals in some way to them who He really is. After the resurrection the disciples, as they remember the vision on the mountain, will understand that Jesus is the Lord. In the garden Jesus will show to them another side of who he is, one like us, vulnerable and weak.
§ His face was dazzling as the sun, his clothes as radiant as light. These are signs of life, majesty and power.
§ Moses-the Law and Elijah-the Prophets are speaking to him. The whole Old Testament speaks of Jesus, announces him to us without giving his name.
§ The cloud is in the Old Testament the image of the presence of God. The cloud of the exodus, the cloud over the tent of the meeting in the desert
§ The voice of the Father, like at Jesus’ baptism, says that He is the Son in whom the Father is well pleased. And the Father invites us to listen to him (his beloved son).
§ The disciples are overcome with fear. The presence of God awakes two different feelings in the human being: on one hand a strong attraction to God on the other hand fear because God is Awesome and Mysterious.
§ Jesus touches them, do not be afraid! In order that we might not be afraid of God, the Son has taken our flesh so that we will not be afraid to approach Him. Jesus is the Word incarnate, made flesh, who gently touches each one of us.
§ Jesus will repeat the same words in his apparitions after the resurrection. He had said these words also in other occasions, as during the storm on the lake.
§ The disciples cannot tell, before the Resurrection of the Lord, what has happened on the mountain, it could be misunderstood.