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Welcome to our Bible Study 2 nd Sunday of Lent A March 16, 2014 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to our Bible Study 2 nd Sunday of Lent A March 16, 2014 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to our Bible Study 2 nd Sunday of Lent A March 16, 2014 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM

2 1 st reading: Genesis 12,1-4a 1 The LORD said to Abram: "Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. 2 "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you." 4 Abram went as the LORD directed him. The focus is on God’s blessing to Abram.

3 1 st reading: Genesis 12,1-4a 1 The LORD said to Abram: "Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. 2 "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you." 4 Abram went as the LORD directed him. Commentary Gen 12 starts the story of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). Gen 12 starts the story of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). The reading tells us about The reading tells us about God ordering Abram (Abraham later) to move to an unknown place, God ordering Abram (Abraham later) to move to an unknown place, his promises to him and his promises to him and Abram’s obedience. Abram’s obedience. In v. 1, the Lord asks Abram to leave Haran (Northwest of Mesopotamia) and go to Canaan. In v. 1, the Lord asks Abram to leave Haran (Northwest of Mesopotamia) and go to Canaan. Vv.2-3 speak of God’s promises to Abram Vv.2-3 speak of God’s promises to Abram to make him a great nation (not just a small clan) to make him a great nation (not just a small clan) to make his name great (to make him famous) to make his name great (to make him famous) Blessing here is synonymous to having many descendants (a great nation). Blessing here is synonymous to having many descendants (a great nation). The blessing mentioned in Gen 1 (1 st creation story) continues with Abram. The blessing mentioned in Gen 1 (1 st creation story) continues with Abram. God’s purpose for Abram: to be a blessing (to be a source of blessing) God’s purpose for Abram: to be a blessing (to be a source of blessing) V.4 affirms the obedience of Abram. V.4 affirms the obedience of Abram.

4 Map used with permission from PBS Start of the Journey of Abram Destination of Abram

5 Reflections on the 1 st reading Like Like Abram, we should listen to, believe in and obey God. Abram, we start our life story and history with God. Our Our life should be a story of a journey of faith in God, who calls us to share in his life. We We cannot reach our destiny, attain God’s purpose in us, if we don’t listen and obey God. We, We, too, are called to become sources of blessings blessings to other people.

6 Resp. Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22 R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. 4 Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. 5 He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full. 4 Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. 5 He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full. 18 See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. 18 See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. 20 Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield. 22 May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you. 20 Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield. 22 May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you.

7 Resp. Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22 R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. 4 Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. 5 He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full. 4 Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. 5 He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full. 18 See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. 18 See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. 20 Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield. 22 May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you. 20 Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield. 22 May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you. Commentary: The psalm is classified as hymn of praise. V.4 reflects Abram’s response to God. V.5 affirms God’s values: justice, righteousness. It also affirms God’s trait: he is kind. Vv.18-19 affirm that God takes care of those who fear him and hope in him. He saves and preserves them from death. In v.20, the psalmist affirms God’s protection. In v.22, the psalmist prays that God may be kind (be gracious, give favor) to those who trust and hope in him.

8 Reflections on the Psalm We, Christians, must learn how to trust in God. Like the psalmist, we must be able to affirm God’s goodness to us. We must pray to God affirming his kindness and mercy to us. All the more we should do this, when we are in crisis, when our lives are threatened and when our friends have abandoned us.

9 2 nd reading: 2 Timothy 1,8b-10 8 Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. 9 He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. The focus is on bearing the hardship…

10 2 nd reading: 2 Timothy 1,8b-10 8 Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. 9 He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.Commentary Paul (not really the author) encourages Timothy to carry his responsibility as the leader and shepherd of the Church (in Ephesus). Paul (not really the author) encourages Timothy to carry his responsibility as the leader and shepherd of the Church (in Ephesus). Proclaiming the gospel is not an easy task, but he must do it with the power that comes from God. v.8 Proclaiming the gospel is not an easy task, but he must do it with the power that comes from God. v.8 V.9 acknowledges God’s wondrous deeds to us: V.9 acknowledges God’s wondrous deeds to us: He saves us. He calls us to a holy life. God’s salvation and call are made possible through Jesus Christ. God’s salvation and call are made possible through Jesus Christ. God has made Jesus Christ his instrument in saving us and in bestowing his grace, which was once hidden, but now made known through the same Christ. God has made Jesus Christ his instrument in saving us and in bestowing his grace, which was once hidden, but now made known through the same Christ. Christ is known as the one who destroys death and brings life through the gospel. Christ is known as the one who destroys death and brings life through the gospel. Timothy has to work hard to spread the gospel because it is through it that salvation and life come to us. Timothy has to work hard to spread the gospel because it is through it that salvation and life come to us.

11 Reflections on the 2 nd reading To To be God’s minister is not an easy job. engage in missionary work, to give witness to God, one must have the strength (vocation) that comes from God. We, We, Christians, lay and religious, like Timothy, are called to evangelize and make people holy and send them to heaven. We We should be willing to suffer (endure all things, to make sacrifices) for the sake of the gospel. Are Are you engaged in spreading the gospel? Do Do you have the courage and stamina to carry out your mission work?

12 Gospel reading: Matthew 17,1-9 Going up 1 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. Transfiguration 2 And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Voice from God 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." Reaction of the disciples 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and do not be afraid." 8 And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. Coming down 9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, "Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead." The focus is on the transfiguration.

13 Gospel reading: Matthew 17,1-9 Going up 1 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. Transfiguration 2 And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Commentary V.1 provides the setting of the transfiguration: high mountain, with Peter, James and John In v.2, Jesus is transfigured (transformed, metamorphosed) without any warning. The transfiguration is vividly described as: His face shining like the sun (very bright) His clothes becoming white as light. The transfiguration cannot be ignored. It has a big impact on the apostles. V.3 adds more characters in the story: Moses (who represents the Torah) Elijah (who represents the Prophets) In v.4, Peter offers to make 3 tents for them. The sight gives him a good feeling. He finds himself in the right place. He wants to prolong the experience.

14 Gospel reading: Matthew 17,1-9 Voice from God 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." Reaction of the disciples 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and do not be afraid." 8 And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. V.5 interrupts Peter’s proposal. Another bonus for Peter and the other apostles: A bright cloud casts a shadow… A voice that says, “This is my beloved Son…” V.6 indicates the reaction of the disciples. They prostrate and are afraid (a reaction to the encounter with the sacred). In v.7, Jesus comes and touches them (another bonus). In v.8, the disciples are back to the normal state. Unknowingly, the disciples are also transformed.

15 Gospel reading: Matthew 17,1-9 Coming down 9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, "Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead." V.9 closes what has been started in v.1. V.9 speaks of Jesus and the apostles coming down the mountain. In v.9, Jesus commands the disciples to keep the vision secret until his resurrection. In the transfiguration story, Jesus announces his resurrection. The apostles at this moment do not know what is going to happen. They are asked not to say anything until the picture of Jesus is totally completed at Mt. Calvary.

16 Mt. Tabor, site of Transfiguration Used with permission from PBS 16,13-20Peter’s Confession about Jesus 16,21-23First Prediction of the Passion 16,24-28The Conditions of Discipleship 17,1-8Transfiguration 17,9-13The Coming of Elijah 17,14-22The Healing of a Boy with a Demon 17,23The Second Prediction of the Passion

17 Reflections on the gospel reading In In one way or another, we, too, experience the transfiguration of Jesus. We We see Jesus transfigured in his Word and the Eucharist. hear the voice of God in our liturgy. feel the joy of being one with him by receiving him in Holy Communion. This This religious and spiritual experience should strengthen us as we carry our daily crosses. Have Have you ever had a faith experience (when you felt God was truly present in you)?

18 Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm The The first reading reading is about the obedient Abram. Through Abram, other peoples will be blessed (strengthened). The The psalm psalm affirms God who saves and gives strength. The The second reading reading is about Timothy who needs encouragement / strengthening strengthening in order to carry out the word of evangelization. The The gospel reading reading is about the transfiguration that should strengthen strengthen the disciples, when they will be put into a crisis at the moment of his crucifixion and death.

19 How to develop your homily / sharing Describe yourself when you are in a crisis. You are confused. You commit a series of errors. You misjudge. You are discouraged. You become lazy and don’t want to work anymore. The readings teach us where to draw strength to cope with crisis situations. There is no such thing as life without crisis or sufferings.

20 In the gospel, the transfiguration of Jesus is an unexpected gift of Jesus to his disciples who will soon face bigger difficulties. The transfiguration gives the apostles a taste of who he really is and what is in store for them. Embedded in the story of the transfiguration is the prediction of Jesus’ suffering and death (and resurrection). We need to have a deep religious experience to be strong in our faith. We need to have a deep religious experience to be strong in our faith. We can have that if we are prayerful and we are always in journey with Jesus. We can have that if we are prayerful and we are always in journey with Jesus.

21 In the second reading, Paul tries to “transfigure” Timothy, a church leader who is tasked to shepherd his flock. Paul encourages Timothy to willingly take up his responsibility as an evangelizer. Timothy has to bear the burden of transmitting the gospel traditions. He has to prepare others to take over his place just like how Paul (the imprisoned) has prepared him. We need words of encouragement from authorities, from those who are above us. We cannot survive long if we work all by ourselves, without recognizing those who empowered us and without considering those who will continue our work.

22 In the first reading, we have here a man who quietly obeys God. Abram, though already weak and old, begins with a long journey to an unknown land, banking on and carrying with him God’s promises. The belief that God will fulfill his promises is what makes him move on. This encourages him to leave his homeland and to settle down in Canaan.

23 The unknown future becomes the dream of old Abram. Abram will have children, land and blessings. God will do something to overcome Sarai’s sterility and old age. We can embark on a long journey, in spite of our fragility, if we cooperate with the grace of God. God’s big promises will not come easy.

24 Do we easily get discouraged in the face of trials and difficulties? In this season of Lent, the transfiguration of Jesus should encourage us, like the apostles, to continue journeying in our faith. It should make us cling to Jesus in times of troubles. We must take Abram as a good example, who believes in God’s promises. He moves away from his comfort zone in order to pursue God’s promises. He believes that God will keep his promises. Abram is patient.

25 Paul encourages Timothy to take up the burden of spreading the gospel because it will bear fruit. No effort exerted will be wasted. Jesus is our best example. To return to God in glory, Jesus had to embrace passion and death. Glorification, as previewed in his transfiguration, is only attained through the way of the cross. Do you want to share in his glory? Follow his footsteps. Carry your cross. Do you want to share in his glory? Follow his footsteps. Carry your cross.

26 If we want (or if we are called) to take leadership in the Church and do great things for God, we must have faith in God, like Abram. And we must be ready to suffer and die for him, like Jesus. In the Church, there are some people who will not like us or agree with us. There will be people who are mean to us.

27 The The eucharist eucharist is the sacrament of encouragement in which Jesus assures us, who believe, that everything will be fine, after our ordeals. The The eucharist eucharist makes us productive, heals our sterility, our paralysis and is a source of blessings. The The eucharist eucharist is God’s fulfillment of his promise to give us eternal life.

28 Our Context of Sin and Grace Demoralization Demoralization Disillusionment Disillusionment No more energy No more energy Giving up, not continuing the struggle Giving up, not continuing the struggle Not willing to suffer Not willing to suffer Hopelessness Hopelessness Desperation Desperation Good counselors Good counselors Social transformation Social transformation Willing to suffer and make sacrifices Willing to suffer and make sacrifices Willing to take insults Willing to take insults Hopeful Hopeful Alay Kapwa Alay Kapwa

29 Suggested Songs It’s Time to Prepare (preparation of gifts) It’s Time to Prepare (preparation of gifts) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIandBaBMck I Love You All (communion) I Love You All (communion) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxaP-9mLXCE Pananagutan (recessional) Pananagutan (recessional)


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