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Pastor's Letter 20240225 - 24 February 2024- Second Sunday of Lent

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February 25th, 2024

Second Sunday of Lent


Jesus is transfigured before His apostles.

Message from Father Michael

Today’s Theme:

“If God is For Us, 

Who Can Be Against Us?”

Reflections on Today’s Scripture

(Genesis 22:1-18)  We are given an understanding of the depth of Abraham’s faith in God.  Living among the Canaanites, who practices human sacrifice, we see his agonizing effort to do God’s will, and how his faith was rewarded.


(Romans 8:31-34)  Paul explains the depth of God’s love for us—He did not even spare His own Son, but gave Him up, for us.


(Mark 9:2-10)  The Transfiguration is an epiphany story—like those common among ancient people.  In such stories, the veil between the invisible and the visible worlds, and the future from the present, is removed for a moment, revealing the truth.  This is the earliest epiphany story about Jesus, predating the Voice at His baptism and the manifestation of Jesus to the Magi.     


God is on Our Side

At the time of the Transfiguration, Jesus had just begun His journey to Jerusalem, having been working, mostly, in Galilee.  He met with considerable opposition from the religious leaders there, even though He had grown up with them.  Sensing His inevitable, violent death in Jerusalem, and naturally recoiling from such a fate, He climbed up Mount Tabor to meditate and pray.  There, He heard the marvelous words, “You are My beloved Son.”

It's no longer possible to say, exactly, what occurred there.  The first, and chief significance of the event was for Jesus, Himself—to confirm the course He had taken.  He was “transfigured,” in His glory, between two of the greatest men of the Old Law: Moses—the lawgiver; and Elias—the miracle worker.  Jesus infinitely surpassed both the one and the other, proving clearly He was the center of majesty, as well as the origin of power—both in Jewish and Christian dispensations. 

But it also benefitted the apostles, and this is what Mark emphasizes in today’s Gospel Reading.  In order that they would not focus on His forecast suffering and death, they were given a hint into the fate that awaits those who faithfully follow Him.  Such a preview was meant to refresh the disciples, and encourage them to continue on with Jesus.  In the Transfigured Jesus, the apostles gained a prevue into the glory of the Risen Lord—something they would not understand until after His Resurrection.

Occasionally, we also face “dark times,” thinking that God has abandoned us.  Many voices tell us, “You are good…but only if you’re successful;” or, “…only if you’re popular.”  But through it all, however, there’s still a little voice that tell us, “You are my beloved son or daughter.”  It is this voice to which we must pay attention.  We must recognize that we are God’s beloved children, and live our lives by the light of this truth.  

This is the power of meditative prayer—when we come to realize God has not abandoned us, but is present in our suffering.  To know that nothing can separate us from the love of God is our strength in times of weakness, and our hope in times of adversity.  In the face of pain, all we have to do its abandon ourselves to His care.

Then, like the apostles on Mount Tabor, we can experience similar moments of light and joy: the innocence and laughter of children at play; careless abandon of playing with beloved pets; happiness of family gatherings; personal intimacy with our loved ones; pleasure in finding a lost treasure—foretastes of that promised land towards which we are traveling in faith.  In His love for us, God allows us to perceive (on earth) the joys of the world to come. 

Each day God calls us to be renewed by His Son: in the Holy Eucharist; through reading Scripture; or simply, sitting quietly in His presence.  Amid the preoccupation, toil, confusion and struggles of our days, it is, indeed, good to be with Jesus.  The world offers comforts and consolations, but none that impart peace and joy as richly, and endearingly, as does intimacy with our Creator.   

May God Richly Bless You!


Be Still and Know.docx

View a recording of today's Holy Mass, here:


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