February 25: Second Sunday of Lent, Cycle B

First Reading
Genesis 22:1-2,9a,10-13,15-18
Abraham obeyed God and prepared to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 116:10,15,16-17,18-19
A prayer of faithfulness to God

Second Reading
Romans 8:31b-34
God’s faithfulness is shown in his offering of his own Son for our salvation.

Gospel Reading
Mark 9:2-10
Jesus is transfigured in the presence of Peter, James, and John.

On the second Sunday of Lent in each Lectionary cycle, the Gospel reading proclaims the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration. This event is reported in each of the Synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This year, in Lectionary Cycle B, we hear Mark’s report of this event.

The context for Mark’s Transfiguration story is similar to that found in both Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospel. The Transfiguration occurs after Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Messiah and Jesus’ prediction about his passion. After this, in each of these Gospels, there is also a discussion of the cost of discipleship.
In each case, Jesus takes three of his disciples—Peter, James, and John—to a high mountain.
While they are there, Elijah and Moses appear with Jesus. In Matthew’s and Mark’s Gospel, there is reference to a conversation among Jesus, Elijah, and Moses, but only Luke’s Gospel includes the detail that this conversation is about what Jesus will accomplish in Jerusalem.




Elijah and Moses are significant figures in the history of Israel. Moses led the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and received from Yahweh the Ten Commandments. In appearing with Jesus at his Transfiguration, Moses represents the Law that guides the lives of the Jewish people. Elijah is remembered as one of the most important prophets of Israel who helped the Israelites stay faithful to Yahweh. Some Jews believed that Elijah’s return would signal the coming of the Messiah for the Jewish people. This belief is evidenced in the question posed by Jesus’ disciples after they have witnessed the Transfiguration. The appearance of these two important figures from Israel’s history with Jesus signifies Jesus’ continuity with the Law and with the prophets and that Jesus is the fulfillment of all that was promised to the people of Israel.

On seeing Jesus with Elijah and Moses and having witnessed his Transfiguration, Peter offers to construct three tents for them. Mark reports that the disciples are terrified by what they have witnessed and that Peter’s offer is made out of confusion. We also notice that Peter has reverted from his earlier confession that Jesus is the Messiah, calling Jesus rabbi instead. As if in reply to Peter’s confusion, a voice from heaven speaks, affirming Jesus as God's Son and commanding the disciples to obey him. This voice from heaven recalls the voice that was heard at Jesus’ baptism.

In his Transfiguration, we see an anticipation of the glory of Jesus’ Resurrection. In each of the reports of the Transfiguration, Jesus instructs the disciples to keep secret what they have seen until after the Son of Man has risen from the dead. The disciples’ confusion continues as they wonder what Jesus means by rising from the dead. The disciples cannot possibly understand Jesus’ Transfiguration until they also witness his passion and death. We hear the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration early in Lent, but we have the benefit of hindsight. In our hearing of it, we anticipate Jesus’ Resurrection, even as we prepare to remember Jesus’ passion and death.


Family Connection

Every family has special moments that they remember and share again and again. In sharing these stories, the meaning and importance of these events develop and deepen over time. This is how it was with the disciples’ remembrance of Jesus’ Transfiguration. The full significance of what they had seen and experienced could only be understood after Jesus’ death and Resurrection. As they told other believers about this event and recorded the story for us in the Bible, our understanding of what it means to call Jesus God's own Son has also deepened.

As you gather as a family, think about some special family memories that your family tells over and over again. Talk about why these memories are important to you. Recall that in the Bible we find many important memories about Jesus that have been recorded for us so that we can believe that Jesus is God’s Son. Read today’s Gospel, Mark 9:2-10. What do we learn about Jesus from this Gospel? (He fulfills the promises God made to Israel through the Law and the prophets. God glorified Jesus in his Resurrection. Jesus is God’s Son.) Conclude in prayer together that as we continue to read the Bible, we will deepen our understanding of and our love for Jesus. Pray together the Lord’s Prayer.













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PROPOSALS FOR MEDITATION - We want to offer spiritual texts, which can be of help to nourish our faith and strengthen our life in Christ: they are an opportunity to compare our experience with that of Christian witnesses 'old' and contemporary.

We keep the coming feast of the Lord through deeds, not words - Saint Athanasius
Christ offered himself for us - St. Fulgentius of Ruspe
"Interview between Jesus and Nicodemus" - Daniella Zsupan-Jerome
Christ is the way to the loght, the truth and the life - Saint Augustine

Christ the high priest makes atonement for our sins - Origen, priest
All human activity is to find its purification in the paschal - Gaudius et Spes
The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came ... - St. Leo the Great
Christ and Moses - St. John Chrysostom
God's Invitation
How to find time in the day for Lent
Lent through the lens of grace
Lent: repent - Saint Clement, pope





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