- The Rosary Foundation (Catholic Website of the Week)
- Vietnamese Communists Imprisoned This Cardinal, Heroic Love Put Him on a Path to Sainthood (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Helpful Hints Submitted by Wives--Husbands Please Read (Helpful Hints for Life)
The three tools to truly change this Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. And, if there is one thing we can never do enough of, it is pray.
Prayer needs not be only time in church, on our knees, or at specific times. Prayer needs to become a way of life. We must strive to be constantly united to Jesus Christ in our way of living, that we “pray always.” How wonderful it would be if praying became as natural as breathing.
I was at a profession of a dear friend of mine some years ago, when she united herself formally to a Carmelite convent. She pointed out to me that some of the nuns that ‘never break prayer.’ Even if they talk to you or do some task they keep themselves fully united to their Lord in constant prayer, with heart and mind raised to Him. I soon experienced what she was pointing out to me as I spoke with one of the Carmelites.
While the average Catholic is not called to this specifically, you and I are called to strive to pray constantly by uniting whatever we think, say, or do to Jesus Christ, the REAL person who loves us more than others do and more than we love ourselves. That is the challenge and joy of the Good News!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This past Sunday was the Second Sunday of Lent. The readings can be found at: Second Sunday of Lent | USCCB
- the elevation of the mind and heart to God (in praise of his glory; a petition made to God for some desired good, or in thanksgiving for a good received, or in intercession for others before God)
1) Be my best friend.
2) I need to know you call my name in your prayers
3) Hold me when I cry
4) Show and tell me that you love me often, and leave no doubt about it in my mind.
5) Show me your approval when I make a decision that is good.
6) Talk to me about what's important to you and to me.
7) Listen to me and don't treat me like I am stupid and don't know anything.
8) I need intimacy, and not just sexually. Anyone can have relations, but it takes a REAL man to be intimate.
9) Make me feel wanted and trusted in the things I can do for you.
10) Don't try to make me like your mother.
11) Remember that I am your "Help Mate". I am not someone to be stomped on and just used for your "whims".
12) Understand that I like to have our family near and want all relationships to be what God intended.
13) Comfort and hold me.
14) Be a one woman man.
15) Take the spiritual lead in giving me (and our children) direction and guidance.
16) Ask me for my help - it is good to be regarded as a helper and useful.
17) Make appropriate adjustments to your lifestyle and preferences as a married / family man.
18) Treat me with love and respect in the company of others.
19) Show appreciation and affirmation.
20) Tell me you love me often, even if you think I should already know this.
21) Show affection for no "reason" at all.
22) Make me feel as though I am still desirable.
23) Be devoted to caring, giving protection, and affirming your love.
24) Encourage me to realize my goals, and don't put me down for trying something new. Try to understand how I feel and listen to me when I try to tell you something that is important to us or that is hurting us.
“Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in his name. The "spiritual battle" of the Christian's new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2725
The Rosary Foundation
The Rosary Foundation - Pray the Rosary for World Peace
Welcome to eRosary, the official homepage of The Rosary Foundation. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting rosary prayer and the benefits gained by ...
The Rosary Foundation is a charitable organization that is dedicated to promoting the benefits gained through recitation of the rosary. Its mission is to enlighten the world about the special graces available to all those who pray the rosary.
The Rosary Foundation organizes and manages several Rosary Awareness campaigns in an effort to promote the use of the rosary. Its members promote the rosary through search engine marketing and online media advertising; they promote prayer offline via word-of-mouth; they also promote prayer for several nonprofit charity organizations.
He was imprisoned by the Vietnamese Communists for many years, most of that in solitary confinement, because he was the nephew of the late South Vietnamese president, Ngo Dinh Diem.
They put him in prison without any real reason, except with the lame excuse of making sure that he was to be “re-educated” in the new Marx-Lenin socialist system.
He underwent many sufferings, but from that experience, the Servant of God learned to live his faith, love the Lord and his captors in the midst of trials.
In the beginning, he questioned and asked God why He would permit something like this to happen.
He thought he could be of better help to his people as a shepherd in their times of trial than being imprisoned. He thought he could be of a better asset to the suffering and oppressed Church than being isolated and imprisoned.
Yet, little by little, he began to embrace reality and tried to live his priesthood where the Almighty had planted him!
In the darkest time of his life, the late Cardinal learned how to love those who disliked him. He found strength and nourishment with the Mass, and at times, only with a few drops of wine and a little bit of water in one hand, and a piece of the host on the other.
He offered Mass for his people with the wine and hosts smuggled in as medicines for his weak stomach.
In his memoirs and talks, he mentioned that there were times that he was so tired, sick, or beaten down, that he could not pray. Yet, in those moments, he simply offered his sufferings as personal, loving sacrifices for his Diocese and the people that he was appointed to shepherd but could not due to imprisonment.
He learned much through silent suffering, uniting his hardships with the redemptive love of Jesus Christ for the welfare and goods of his people.
Because of his kindness and love, the wardens of his various locations kept changing guards because he won over the hearts of his captors.
Those sent to watch him wanted to learn about the faith because they saw in him the genuine devotion and love. The higher-ups did not like it, hence further labeled him as a rebel who tried to indoctrinate the people with superstitious lies.
For his loving testimony of faith and courage, St. Pope John Paul II gave him the honor of the red hat in 2001. He was made a prince of the Church for the love worth suffering for–one that moves hearts of even hardest people!
In many of his talks, the cardinal often said that the Lord Jesus Christ is really bad at mathematics, and even worst with economic skills!
How can the Almighty ever do something so humanly irrational, unwise, or unproductive to seek out the unimportant, sinners, abandoned, or forgotten? Someone who is humanistic would focus on the more important and influential people, a productive or beneficial choice!
Yet, perhaps only the loving God who is merciful and gentle of heart could imagine and do such a thing for us who are His beloved.
Over and over again, the Sacred Scriptures remind us of God‘s relentless love and His compassion for us, even at times when we did not deserve it.
He forgave us at times when we could not even forgive ourselves. He gave His life for us, even though we, at times in our lives, did not think that life is worth living.
He pursued us when we wanted to rebel and stray away from Him in order to find our self-created happiness and ego-centered freedom.
I think our society talks much about love and belief in God.
It seems to be a trend now to simply say that one is a Christian or a believer, but some have become so vocal and really critical of others.
People often allow their frustrations, resentment, or anger to get the best out of them on social media and other public venues, that there seems to be no more common courtesy, respect, or the desire for civil discourse.
Many seem to have no problem using the Sacred Scriptures for their own self-righteous or personal agendas, but not many people allow the divine truth to transform them.
It seems to be easier to attack others or demonize them instead of truly listening, caring, and loving others as Christ Jesus loves us. If that was the case, the Lord‘s teachings and death on the Cross for sinners and those who hated Him would be in vain.
If that is the case, the late Cardinal Francis Xavier‘s own life experience would be in vain and would bear no value for our Christian call to holiness, because it would be easier to be self-righteous, condemn, and point the fingers at others without genuinely and humbly leading others to the Lord.
We might not always agree with the people around us. We might have been dealt with the wrong card. We might have been mistreated and hurt by others. We might not always get what we hoped for or wanted in life.
However, if we truly believe in His divine providence and trust in His faithful love, we have to believe that God can make all things good for those who love Him. (cf. Romans 8:28)
Perhaps right in the storms, trials, or sufferings of our faith journey, He is using it to deepen, transform, and strengthen our love!
We are never without Him and cannot do anything without Him. He is in the midst of it all, so we are invited to open up our hearts and invite Him into whatever is going in our lives now.
No matter what is going on, we are reminded that He has not given up on us: seeking, pursuing, calling us back, and using all things to make us stronger in our Christian vocation, mission and purpose–especially our call to holiness.
I think those who have loved someone can sympathize with God‘s own love — to pursue, embrace, and love someone even when that person pushes us away.
We only hope that when the person recognizes it, he or she will return with genuine self-giving love, too. That is all we can ever wish for in giving our everything to the person or people who are precious to us!
And if we feel this sense of pursuing and faithful love as human beings, I think that is what God wants, too, from each and every one of us, who, at one time or another in our lives wants us to love Him back with our everything instead of taking for granted His mercy and love for us.
Therefore, let us not be worried and held back from answering His love for us. Even though it is not always easy, it is so worth it! Even though our society loves to talk about love as if it is attractive and easy, we learn to put into practice though God’s calling to faithfulness.
It is hard, but to love is to pursue, seek, call, care, be patient, and give ourselves totally and completely to those around us so the divine love of God can shine in and through us.
This article originally appeared on Fr. Khoi Tran’s iThirst Blog.
Some choose to pray the rosary daily. Others pray the Stations of the Cross. Some might even sing the Stabat Mater along the way.
Mary is an excellent companion during the Lenten season, especially her messages and apparitions.
Prayer, penance, and almsgiving are the three pillars of the Lenten season. In Our Lady’s approved apparitions, she directs us to these pillars and encourages us to live them.
In the village of Beauraing in Belgium, Our Lady appeared to five children. She told the children to “pray, pray very much, pray always.”
In other apparitions, Our Lady told the seers for what or who they should pray.
In Fatima, she requested they pray the rosary for peace in the world. In Champion, Wisconsin, she requested they offer their holy communion for the conversion of sinners.
Not only did Our Lady tell us who or what to pray for, she requested different methods of prayer. Mary encourages us to become more prayerful, as well as intercessors for others.
Our Lenten observance also emphasizes penance. Our Lady also requested this in her apparitions.To St. Bernadette in Lourdes she said, “penance, penance, penance.”
At Fatima, she told the three children to offer their small sacrifices out of love for God and the Immaculate in reparation for sin and the conversion of sinners.
We fast and make acts of self-denial throughout Lent. Be sure to offer these sacrifices to God as a prayer. As you do so, Mary will accompany you on your Lenten journey, for she encouraged us to do penances.
The third element of Lent is almsgiving in our care and support for the poor.In Mary’s Magnificat, she prays that God “casts down the mighty from their thrones and lifts up the lowly.” Mary has a special place in her prayer and heart for the poor.
The visionaries in Our Lady’s apparitions came from poor families. St. Bernadette’s family was incredibly poor. In Lourdes, the sick and those poor in health come and pray for healing.
In 1933 when Mary appeared to Mariette Beco in Banneux, Belgium, she told the child she was the “Virgin of the Poor.”
During this season of almsgiving, we journey with a woman who identifies with the poor, and allow those who are poor financially, physically, spiritually, or emotionally, to turn to her motherly intercession.
Throughout your Lenten journey, consider doing so in prayer with the Blessed Virgin. And if you’d like, listen to Mary’s words from her approved apparitions and allow them to guide your life, not only during Lent, but for the rest of your life.
Madrid, Spain, Mar 6 (EWTN News/CNA) -After an anti-clerical childhood and adolescence, filled with hatred for the Church, Fr. Juan José Martínez says he discovered “that God exists and wants me as his priest.”
“Sunday mornings I would peer out of the balcony of my house, and when the people were going by on their way to Mass, I would spit on them. I told them that the Church was a sect that wanted their money,” explained the priest, who ministers in the Diocese of Almeria, Spain.
Fr. Juan José's parents were not believers, and he had received no religious formation, but he said they did not raise him to be intolerant. In fact, he says he does not know where he got all those ideas, because the perception he had of the Church and God was that of a “multinational corporation with branches in every neighborhood to extract money, like a sect.”
“I was absolutely anticlerical, I was the first student in my school and the town of Carboneras, Almeria Province, to never be taught Religion because when I was 8 or 9, I chose the alternative course which was Ethics. In the following years, I went on convincing my friends to quit Religion classes and to take Ethics with me. In the end, my whole class ended up being taught Ethics and none of them Religion.”
But what he never imagined is that the end of his journey would be to help his friends to come back to the Church. Fr. Juan José remembers quite well that the first day he went into a Catholic church, “I went to make fun of those who had invited me.”
“It was in January 1995, some friends from class invited me to a Catholic Charismatic Renewal prayer group at the parish. Obviously I told them I wasn't planning on going because I didn't want them to brainwash me. For a whole month they persisted. I finally gave in – it was a Thursday in February 1995 when I went into a Catholic church for the first time.”
A golden box
A lot of his friends were there, and he was surprised because “they were all looking at a golden box at the back of the church. I didn't know what it was, but I thought it was where the parish priest kept the money.”
That golden box was the Tabernacle.
Fr. Juan José says that he came to make fun of them because “I thought they were crazy. Inside, I was laughing at them a lot, but I was polite and concealed it. But I decided to come back the following Thursday to laugh at them some more.”
And so one Thursday after another, Fr. Juan José was letting go of his prejudices against the Church and religion.
“The pastor seemed to me to be a very wise man who was helping the people,” he told CNA. And little by little, the love of God was penetrating his heart: “I was 15 years old and I started to sing at Mass, which meant I would attend Mass on Saturdays. I liked being in front of the tabernacle and little by little, I realized that God existed and loved me. I felt the love of God. The Charismatic Renewal group, which I had come to make fun of, helped me a lot.”
“My eyes were being opened and I saw that God was not a legend or story for the weak, but that he existed and that he was supporting and guiding me. I experienced that he loved me so much that he wanted me for himself and was calling me,” he recalled.
“I am yours for whatever you need”
Fr. Juan José had been baptized and made his First Communion because of his grandparents' wishes, but he did not have a relationship with God after that. “I made my Confirmation as I was right in the midst of the process of conversion, and it was a genuine gift. That day I told the Lord, 'I am yours for whatever you need.' My mother came but my father did not. It was a unique moment in my life to receive the Holy Spirit and to put my trust in the Lord.”
For months, the young Juan José was resisting the call to the priesthood. “I told the Lord that I didn't want any hassles and to quit talking to me. Until I had to make a decision and it was to follow him, becoming a priest.”
One Saturday afternoon when he was 17, Fr. Juan José told his father he wanted to go to the seminary. His father beat him and said that “he would be a priest over his dead body.”
“They did not understand that I would want to be a priest. In fact, my father offered to pay for me to go to college in the United States but (he told me) he would never pay for the seminary.”
In such a difficult moment, Fr. Juan José recalled that all he could think of was the prayer of Saint Teresa of Avila: “Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. All you need is God” and when his father stopped rebuking him, the young man gave him a hug and said to him, “I knew you were going to react like that, but I also knew that one day you'd understand.”
In fact, his father went so far as to threaten to report the pastor to the police if kept helping his son discern his vocation. “My father was trying everything, but the Lord is stronger,” he said.
To obey his father, Fr. Juan José could not start the seminary, and so he began to study teaching at the University of Almeria. For years he was patient, and continued to be faithful to his vocation to the priesthood. Until one day in May 1999, as he recalled, his mother told him that she had spoken to his father and that finally he would let him enter the seminary. “I began to cry and cry. I remember when I told the pastor about it he said “welcome” and gave me a great big hug.”
In September 2000, he finally entered the seminary.
In 2006, Fr.Juan José was ordained in the Almeria cathedral and his father even attended the ceremony. “In no way did he want me to become a priest, but he saw that I was happy and even though he was totally anticlerical, he decided that the happiness of his son came before his ideology and if I was happy, even though he didn't understand it, he would have to accept it. “
In fact, he recalled that two years ago, “before dying, my father received the Anointing of the Sick. And it was I who administered it to him.”
“When somebody tells me he doesn't believe in God, I always tell him that neither did I believe in Him, but I was mistaken, because I have discovered the genuine happiness that Jesus has given to me. If you're not completely happy, ask the Lord to help you, because only He will give you the happiness that your heart needs.”
“Initially when they offered me this (job) I thought I would find myself confronted with grouchy, perhaps mean people,” said volunteer barber Danielle Mancuso.
“Instead, I discovered a truly tremendous humanity.”
“You see these poor people out in the middle of the street, discarded. Then, you speak to them, and they're human,” he said, recounting his first day.
Officially inaugurated on Feb. 16, the facilities provide the opportunity for homeless individuals to have their hair cut each Monday – a day when barber shops in Italy are traditionally closed – by volunteer barbers. Meanwhile, the shower services will be offered daily, with the exception of Wednesday due to the large crowds which attend the weekly general audience.
“I cut my hair, took a shower, beard, everything. It's wonderful!” 51-year-old Gregorio from Poland, who's been living in Rome for 13 years, told EWTN News.
Construction began in November on new showers and bathrooms under the colonnades of St. Peter’s Square.
Many barbers have volunteered with enthusiasm, including two barbers from the national Italian organization that transports the sick to Lourdes, France and other international shrines (UNITALSI). Other volunteers are finishing their final year in barber school.
“It's been a great lesson for me,” said Andrea Valeriano, an UNITALSI volunteer. “Everyone has waited (their turn) calmly. And I've seen a lot solidarity among them.”
Papal almoner Archbishop Konrad Krajewski spearheaded the reconstruction of St. Peter's square bathrooms to include the shower and barbershop facilities, which have witnessed a substantial response since their opening.
The Polish bishop is charged with the dual responsibility of carrying out acts of charity for the poor and raising the money to fund them. When the archbishop was appointed, Pope Francis urged him not to stay at his desk but rather to be an active worker for the benefit of the poor.
Vatican Insider reported that Archbishop Krajewski received his inspiration for the showers after taking a homeless man to dinner in order to celebrate his birthday. The man, who turned 50, told the archbishop that finding food in the city is easy, but staying clean was not.
“Prayer to Jesus is answered by him already during his ministry, through signs that anticipate the power of his death and Resurrection: Jesus hears the prayer of faith, expressed in words (the leper, Jairus, the Canaanite woman, the good thief) or in silence (the bearers of the paralytic, the woman with a hemorrhage who touches his clothes, the tears and ointment of the sinful woman). The urgent request of the blind men, "Have mercy on us, Son of David" or "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" has-been renewed in the traditional prayer to Jesus known as the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!" Healing infirmities or forgiving sins, Jesus always responds to a prayer offered in faith: "Your faith has made you well; go in peace."
St. Augustine wonderfully summarizes the three dimensions of Jesus' prayer: "He prays for us as our priest, prays in us as our Head, and is prayed to by us as our God. Therefore let us acknowledge our voice in him and his in us."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2616
-I saw an ad for burial plots, and thought to myself this is the last thing I need.
-Just burned 2,000 calories. That's the last time I leave brownies in the oven while I nap.
-I'm great at multitasking. I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.
For My Next Impression…I’m now in high school, so when I ran into my third-grade teacher, I doubted she would remember me.
“Hi, Miss Jones,” I said.
“Hi, Eddie,” she replied.
“So you do remember me?” I asked.
“Sure. You don’t always leave a good impression, but it is a lasting one.”
They Still Fit
I don’t want to brag or make anybody jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.
A man is driving down to New York to see a show, and he's stopped in Connecticut for speeding. The state trooper smells alcohol on his breath, sees an empty wine bottle on the floor, and asks, "Sir, have you been drinking?"
The man replies, "Just water."
The trooper asks, "Then, why do I smell wine?"
The man looks down at the bottle and exclaims, "Good Lord, Jesus has done it again, just like at the Wedding Feast of Cana!"
After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother,
"Mom, I've decided to become a minister when I grow up."
"That's okay with us, but what made you decide that?"
"Well," said the little boy, "I have to go to church on Sunday anyway,
And I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen."
The Sunday School Teacher asks,
"Now, Johnny, tell me frankly do you say prayers before eating?"
"No ma'am," little Johnny replies, I don't have to.
My mom is a good cook."
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
Second Sunday in Lent – Sunday, February 28th, 2021
The First Reading- Genesis 22: 1-2, 9A, 10-13, 15-18
God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am!" he replied. Then God said: "Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you." When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven, "Abraham, Abraham!" "Here I am!" he answered. "Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger. "Do not do the least thing to him. I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son." As Abraham looked about, he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. So he went and took the ram and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son. Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing— all this because you obeyed my command."
The story is familiar to most: God commands Abraham to take Isaac to a certain mountain and sacrifice him there. Abraham obeys, but before Isaac is slain, God intervenes through an angel. A ram, caught in a thicket, is sacrificed instead of Isaac, and the story concludes with God’s oath of blessing on Abraham. The opening of the chapter recalls God’s initial call to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3. In both cases, God calls Abraham to act in faith, to journey to a place unknown in advance, that God “will show him.” The point is, this event in Genesis 22 is an icon of Abraham’s whole life, a little drama that encapsulates the meaning of his entire spiritual journey. The foreshadowing of Calvary in Genesis 22 is obvious. Here we have the only begotten—or “beloved”—son, carrying the wood of his sacrifice up the mountain, finally to be laid on the wood and willingly offered to God by his father. Indeed, we are in the geographical location of Calvary. According to 2 Chronicles 3:1, Solomon built the Temple on Mount Moriah, the same location where Isaac was almost sacrificed. This is the Temple Mount; Calvary was only a short walk away, a little hill just outside the first-century walls of Jerusalem.
Adults -In what ways does Isaac foreshadow Christ?
Teens - How is Abraham a model for us?
Kids - How can you grow your faith in the Lord?
Responsorial- Psalm 116: 10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
I believed, even when I said,
"I am greatly afflicted."
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the house of the LORD,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
The Refrain, “I will walk before the Lord,” picks up a theme from the First Reading. In Genesis 17:1, God commands Abraham to “walk before me and be blameless.” The word “walk” (halak) is repeated several times in Genesis 22, notably in verse 8: “So they walked, both of them (Abraham and Isaac) together …” It is as if the “righteous walking” demanded by God of Abraham in Genesis 17:1 is being fulfilled in Genesis 22. All of us who share the faith of Abraham, and understand the self-sacrifice that it entails, also “walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.” -Pray daily that the Lord will guide your steps.
The Second Reading- Romans 8: 31B-34
Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God's chosen ones? It is God who acquits us, who will condemn? Christ Jesus it is who died—or, rather, was raised— who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
The Second Reading continues the themes of the First. Abraham did not spare his own son; neither did God the Father. “If God is for us, who can be against us? He … did not spare his own Son … will he not give us everything else?” Work on praying in a spirit of gratitude to the Lord.
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 9: 2-10
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.
The Transfiguration is actually an anticipation of Calvary. At first this seems counter-intuitive: on Mount Tabor, Jesus is glorified; but on Calvary, he is crucified. What can be the connection? Yet this is the theology of the Gospel of John. Speaking of his approaching Passion, Jesus says in John 12: “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified” (v. 23). Again, after being betrayed: “Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified; if God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once (John 13:31-32). This is the mystery of our faith: God’s glory revealed through weakness, suffering, and humility. Any god can triumph by brute force; but a God who triumphs through humble sacrifice? Is this not a greater glory? Why do Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus? As is well-known, Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets respectively, and together the “Law and the Prophets” referred to the entire Jewish Bible at that time (cf. Matt 5:17). Furthermore, both these men were believed to have been assumed into heaven at the end of their lives: Elijah in 2 Kings 2:11, and Moses according to Jewish tradition (like the apocryphal work Assumption of Moses). Thus, they were individuals already experiencing the beatitude of the divine presence, and able to appear on earth, unlike those souls still waiting in Sheol or Hades for the liberation that Christ’s resurrection would bring.
Adults - What are some of the mountaintop experience of your life, when God has felt particularly close to you? How did they strengthen your faith?
Teens - Do you allow the gratitude for the blessings in your life strengthen your faith for the trials that come along?
Kids - How do you think Peter, James, and John felt when they saw Jesus transfigured?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - Let us thank our divine Lord today, for giving this consoling and encouraging vision of his glory to his Apostles and through them to us. It was for them, and it is for us, a guarantee and a foretaste of the joys and the glory that will be ours for eternity, if we but persevere in our struggles against the world, the flesh and the devil…This thought will help us to carry our crosses as the thought of the future glory which will be ours should make us thank God that we have been created and thank his beloved Son for setting us on the road to that future glory. - Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.