Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gospel Reflection

February 24, 2013
Sunday – Year of Faith – Lenten Season
by Rev.  Fr. Matthieu Dauchez
12;15PM Mass at Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA)
Reading 1 Gn 15:5-12, 17-18

The Lord God took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.” Abram put his faith in the LORD, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.

He then said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans  to give you this land as a possession.” “O Lord GOD,” he asked, “how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He answered him, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Abram brought him all these, split them in two, and placed each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not cut up. Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram stayed with them. As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram, and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.

When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces. It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14

R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Reading 2 Phil 3:17—4:1

Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters, and observe those who thus conduct themselves  according to the model you have in us. For many, as I have often told you  and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach;  their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord.

Gospel Lk 9:28b-36

Jesus took Peter, John, and James  and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus  that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep,  but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying. While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time  tell anyone what they had seen.


My dear brothers and sisters, this is what God is telling us during the Transfiguration of Jesus - the same words we can hear during the Baptism of Jesus at the Jordan river. "This is My beloved Son, listen to Him." Then we can be sure. We can be sure that when we face the Lord in heaven, when we arrive in heaven, He will tell us, "I told You to listen to My Son. I told You to listen to Him." 

So my dear brothers and sisters, let us not delay. Let us not delay in listening to Jesus, listening to the Messiah. 

I have two questions regarding this Gospel. Two questions regarding the Word of God today for us. First question - What is He expecting from us? Second question - Why is He expecting this from us? 

On the first question - what is God expecting from us? Very simple. It is said in our Gospel. He is expecting us to listen. That's all - to listen. But what does it mean to listen deeply? God is not expecting us to hear Jesus like a noise or political speech, when one hears and leaves right away. No. He wants us to listen - really listen. 

In many languages, the word 'listen' is very strong. If you listen to your parents, for example, it means that you obey them. The word 'listen' is inevitably linked with action. I listen, and I put it into action. Not only words, but actions. Listening to God, listening to Jesus, means to obey Him in action. So what is God expecting from us? Actions - actions in our life, to put into action what we believe deep inside, to change our lives. 

We go now to the second question. Why? Why is God expecting us to listen? Moreover, why is God expecting anything from us? We know that God is perfect and powerful. So He does not need anything. Especially from us, imperfect creations, whom He created. So why? Why is God expecting anything from me? Indeed, this is unbelievable, as God does not need anything from us. But still...still, He is begging our will. He is begging our will. God could force us to obey. But still, He is begging for our self giving. This means that God loves us so much, that without any need, He is giving us the authority of self giving. He is begging our love. This is our God, a beggar. 

My dear brothers and sisters, we are not asking favors from the King. But we are giving alms to a begging Lord. Our Lord is begging us. He created us. He gave us our life, our existence. He gave us our soul. He gave us our heart, in order to beg us for them. 

If you understand these words, if you understand the nature of our Lord, the nature of God, if you understand why God is expecting something from us, why He is begging us, then you will understand the deep nature of love, and therefore, you can understand deeply what God is expecting from us, what God is expecting us to change in our life. 

Let us listen deeply, and put it into action. This may be the deepest message of the Transfiguration, my dear brothers and sisters. God is giving us the reason why He sent His only Son. God loves us so much, that He wants us, in turn, to love, and to love in action. There is no other way, than to obey Jesus, to listen to Him. 

And then a cloud overshadowed them, and then from the cloud came a voice: "This is My Beloved Son, listen to Him......I beg you." Amen.

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