Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Lent II


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The gospel for the 2nd Sunday in lent is the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration.  The literal meaning of transfiguration is to change appearance.  Here is a brief explanation from the Catechism.

Transfiguration:  
“The mysterious event in which Jesus, speaking with Moses and Elijah on the mountain, was transformed in appearance – in the sight of Peter, James, and John – as a moment of disclosure of His divine glory” (CCC, Glossary, pp. 901-902; 554).

Today’s offertory song; “Transfigure Us, O Lord,” (#500) underscores the gospel message.  Bob Hurd’s text highlights the call to conversion; an integral part of lent.       The first verse speaks of the events in the gospel.  The second two verses speak of Jesus’ role as Redeemer and Savior.  The final verse points to what is to come:  Jesus’ road to Jerusalem and crucifixion.

The message of today’s communion song is the “flipside” of the call to conversion – God’s abundant mercy.  In “God of Mercy” (#508) Bob Hurd teams up with Fr. Ricky Manalo to write a beautiful account of God’s merciful love.

Take a moment to consider this line from the refrain:

You (i.e. God) have pitched your tent among us

In today’s first reading we hear of Abraham’s covenant with God.   The Israelites were a nomadic people who set up camp by pitching tents.  In an earlier story of Abraham and Sarah’s hospitality “the Lord appeared to Abraham…as he sat in the entrance of his tent.”    Pitching a tent is more than a brief outing; it has to do with a lifelong relationship.

In today’s gospel we hear of the close relationship between Jesus, the chosen Son and God whose voice is heard coming from the clouds.   In Jesus, God pitches his tent among us because God wants to be in relationship with us.

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I’ve chosen 2 songs to honor St. Patrick whose feast day is displaced by the second Sunday in ordinary time.  (Not that there hasn’t been and won’t bee a wee bit of celebrating.)

St. Patrick’s Breastplate (words found in the bulletin) uses the image of spiritual armor in resistance to the devil’s temptation.   This is similar to St. Paul’s words in his letter to the Ephesians. 

“Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. 
Ephesians 6:11

We will conclude today’s liturgy and be sent out with Bob Fabing’s setting of the Irish Blessing (#391).

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from this once (or twice) a year Irishman with the “O” at the end of his name.

Blessed to be in ministry at St. Mary’s,

Bruce Mauro

PS
You will hear more Irish songs at Sunday evening's novena. 


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