SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT:
ST PATRICK (385 – 461)
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 26: 8-9
Of you my heart has spoken, Seek his face. It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face from me.
O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
Taking Abram outside, the Lord said, ‘Look up to heaven and count the stars if you can.’ ‘Such will be your descendants,’ he told him. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who counted this as making him justified. ‘I am the Lord’ he said to him ‘who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldaeans to make you heir to this land.’ ‘My Lord,’ Abram replied ‘how am I to know that I shall inherit it?’ He said to him, ‘Get me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon.’ He brought him all these, cut them in half and put half on one side and half facing it on the other; but the birds he did not cut in half. Birds of prey came down on the carcases but Abram drove them off. When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, there appeared a smoking furnace and a firebrand that went between the halves. That day the Lord made a Covenant with Abram in these terms: ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the wadi of Egypt to the Great River.’
Psalm 26(27):1, 7-9, 13-14
R/ The Lord is my light and my help.
1)The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom shall I shrink?
2) Lord, hear my voice when I call; have mercy and answer. Of you my heart has spoken: ‘Seek his face.’
3) It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face. Dismiss not your servant in anger; you have been my help.
4) I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Hope in him, hold firm and take heart. Hope in the Lord!
Second reading: Philippians 3:17-4:1
My brothers, be united in following my rule of life. Take as your models everybody who is already doing this and study them as you used to study us. I have told you often, and I repeat it today with tears, there are many who are behaving as the enemies of the cross of Christ. They are destined to be lost. They make foods into their god and they are proudest of something they ought to think shameful; the things they think important are earthly things. For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe. So then, my brothers and dear friends, do not give way but remain faithful in the Lord. I miss you very much, dear friends; you are my joy and my crown.
Gospel Acclamation: Mt. 17:5
Glory and praise to you, O Christ! From the bright cloud the Father’s voice was heard: ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Gospel: Luke 9:28-36
Jesus took with him Peter and John and James and went up the mountain to pray. As he prayed, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became brilliant as lightning. Suddenly there were two men there talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep, but they kept awake and saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As these were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ – He did not know what he was saying. As he spoke, a cloud came and covered them with shadow; and when they went into the cloud the disciples were afraid. And a voice came from the cloud saying, ‘This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.’ And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. The disciples kept silence and, at that time, told no one what they had seen.
Prayer over the Offerings
May this sacrifice, O Lord, we pray, cleanse us of our faults and sanctify your faithful in body and mind for the celebration of the paschal festivities. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt. 17: 5
This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.
Prayer after Communion
As we receive these glorious mysteries, we make thanksgiving to you, O Lord, for allowing us while still on earth to be partakers even now of the things of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
Bless your faithful, we pray, O Lord, with a blessing that endures for ever, and keep them faithful to the Gospel of your Only Begotten Son, so that they may always desire and at last attain that glory whose beauty he showed in his own Body, to the amazement of his Apostles. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Alongside the Christian community of Philippi lived a cluster of pagans who had a negative view of the body; they considered it as the prison of the soul. Paul, however, declares about the body: “Do you not realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you and whom you received from God?” (1 Co 6: 19). Though it is the temple of the Holy Spirit , we expose our bodies to ugliness, suffering, futility and death by our ungodly actions. The Lord Jesus Christ will transform our bodies from this state and refashion them into the new radiant appearance. Up on the mountain, Jesus’ face shone in glorious splendour not because he was in the presence of God like Moses while he was on Mount Sinai (Ex. 34:29-35), but because he is the Son of God. His radiant appearance led Peter to suggest building shelters in order to prolong the moment of being in the vicinity of a glorious state. May our hearts beat as one with Peter’s with a desire not to leave the place of the glory of God, a place where God declares, “This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.” That place, our mountain where we see the glorified face of Christ, is the Church. That is where we listen to him as the voice commanded.