SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
v On the First Sunday of Lent we contemplate Jesus tempted , and at the same time how he affirms the dominion of God over all, we shall submit only to Him.
v Next Sunday we will have a glance to the glory of Jesus, the son the beloved, whom we have to listen to.
v THE BOOK OF GENESIS
« 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
I will copy below two paragraphs from the Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II Vita Consecrata.
In the countenance of Jesus, the "image of the invisible God” and the reflection of the Father's glory, we glimpse the depths of an eternal and infinite love which is at the very root of our being. Those who let themselves be seized by this love cannot help abandoning everything to follow him. Like Saint Paul, they consider all else as loss "because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ", by comparison with which they do not hesitate to count all things as "refuse", in order that they "may gain Christ". They strive to become one with him, taking on his mind and his way of life. This leaving of everything and following the Lord is a worthy programme of life for all whom he calls, in every age (18)
A whole ancient spiritual tradition refers to this "icon" when it links the contemplative life to the prayer of Jesus. Even the "active" dimensions of consecrated life can in a way be included here, for the Transfiguration is not only the revelation of Christ's glory but also a preparation for facing Christ's Cross. It involves both "going up the mountain" and "coming down the mountain". The disciples who have enjoyed this intimacy with the Master, surrounded for a moment by the splendour of the Trinitarian life and of the communion of saints, and as it were caught up in the horizon of eternity, are immediately brought back to daily reality, where they see "Jesus only", in the lowliness of his human nature, and are invited to return to the valley, to share with him the toil of God's plan and to set off courageously on the way of the Cross.(14)CLARETIAN CORNER
Many times God has revealed to me, and some with much sorrow and anguish, that the cause of all the wrongdoings of the Holy Church, is because its Prelates neglect giving the pasture that their beloved sheep need, failing to distribute the bread of the Divine Word among such a great multitude of ignorant people. Because of their character they do not appear to do so, but in reality they ignore what is most essential of the Lord’s Holy Law such as what is necessary for their sanctification. The Pastors’ neglect loses the Lord’s sheep. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian MIssionary Sisters, Notes for the Renewal of the Church, 39.
The Prelate, has not only to try to be good, but he has to help and be vigilant that his employees of the curia and of his house be also good, because, it might be that what he builds the others destroy, and will even cause him to lose his reputation, thus he will procure that his employees have the following qualities.
The Vicar General will be learned; spiritual, impartial, kind, sweet, and he will give appointments to any one; he will speedily take care of the businesses; every day or more frequently he will inform the Prelate of the main businesses he is taking care of, as Saint Charles required. The Promoter of Justice has to be wise, virtuous, and hardworking. The notary must also be wise, virtuous and hardworking. The clerks will be virtuous and hardworking; they have to receive frequently the holy sacraments; Saint Charles said that if they are not exemplary, they are the discredit of the Prelate, and thus whoever does not want to be exemplary let him be fired. All of them have to be enemies of receiving gifts; Saint Charles forbid it completely to his employees, and he fired one who had received a gift. St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Notes of a Plan to Restore the Beauty of the Church: “Duties of The Employees of the Curia.”