Welcome to our Bible Study
2nd Sunday of Lent A
16 March 2014
In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy
In aid of focusing ...
1 reading: Genesis 12:1-4
st

1

The LORD said to Abram: "Go forth from
the land of your kinsfolk and from your
father's ...
1st reading: Genesis 12:1-4


1 The LORD said to
Abram: "Go forth
from the land of
your kinsfolk and
from your father's
h...
Reflections on the 1 reading
st

 Like

Abram, we should listen, believe and obey
God.
 Like Abram, we start our life st...
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.



4 Upright is th...
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.



4 Upright is th...
Reflections on the Psalm
 We,

Christians, must learn how to trust in God.
 Like the psalmist, we must be able to affirm...
2 reading: 2 Timothy 1:8-10
nd

8

Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with
the strength that comes from God. 9 He...
2 reading: 2 Timothy 1:8-10
nd



Commentary
8 Bear your share of
hardship for the gospel  Paul (not really the author) ...
Reflections on the 2 reading
nd










To be God’s minister is not an easy job.
To engage in missionary work, to ...
Gospel reading: Matthew 17:1-9
Going up
 1 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and
led them up ...
Gospel reading: Matthew 17:1-9
Going up
 1 After six days Jesus
took Peter, James, and
John his brother, and led
them up ...
Gospel reading: Matthew 17:1-9
Voice from God
 5 While he was still
speaking, behold, a bright
cloud cast a shadow over
t...
Gospel reading: Matthew 17:1-9
Coming down
 9 As they were
coming down from the
mountain, Jesus
charged them, "Do
not tel...
Reflections on the gospel reading










In one way or another, we, too, experience the
transfiguration of Jesus....
Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm







The first reading is about the obedient Abram. Through
Abram, other peoples ...
How to develop your homily / sharing
 Describe

yourself when you are in a crisis.

 You

are confused.
 You commit a s...


In the gospel, the transfiguration of Jesus is an
unexpected gift of Jesus to his disciples who will soon
face bigger d...







In the second reading, Paul tries to “transfigure” Timothy,
a church leader who is tasked to shepherd his flo...











In the first reading, we have here a man who quietly
obeys God.
Abram, though already weak and old, be...
 Do

we easily get discouraged in the face of trials
and difficulties?
 In this season of Lent, the transfiguration of J...
 Paul

encourages Timothy to take up the burden
of spreading the gospel because it will bear fruit.
 No effort exerted w...
 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 Go...
 The

eucharist is the sacrament of
encouragement in which Jesus assures us,
who believe, that everything will be fine, a...
Our Context of Sin and Grace
 Demoralization
 Disillusionment
 No

more energy
 Giving up, not
continuing the
struggle...
Suggested Songs
 It’s

Time to Prepare (preparation of gifts)

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIandBaBMck

I

Love You...
Signs of the Time
 Uprising

in Libya, return of OFWs to the
Philippines
 Earthquake, tsunami and explosions in
nuclear ...
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2nd Lent A

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Dear brothers and sisters,

How strong are we in the face of troubles?

Fr. Cielo

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2nd Lent A

  1. 1. Welcome to our Bible Study 2nd Sunday of Lent A 16 March 2014 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  2. 2. 1 reading: Genesis 12:1-4 st 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. 3. 1st reading: Genesis 12:1-4  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, Jacob).  The reading tells us about      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     God ordering Abram (Abraham later) to move to an unknown place, his promises to him and Abram’s obedience. to make him a great nation (not just a small clan) to make his name great (to make him famous) Blessing here is synonymous to having many descendants (a great nation). The blessing mentioned in Gen 1 (1st creation story) continues with Abram.  God’s purpose for Abram: to be a blessing (to be a source of blessing)  V.4 affirms the obedience of Abram.
  4. 4. Reflections on the 1 reading st  Like Abram, we should listen, believe and obey God.  Like Abram, we start our life story and history with God.  Our life should be a story of a journey of faith in God, who calls us to share in his life.  We cannot reach our destiny, attain God’s purpose in us, if we don’t listen and obey God.  We, too, are called to become sources of blessings to other people.
  5. 5. 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.  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.  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.
  6. 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.  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.  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:  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.
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. 2 reading: 2 Timothy 1:8-10 nd 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…
  9. 9. 2 reading: 2 Timothy 1:8-10 nd  Commentary 8 Bear your share of hardship for the gospel  Paul (not really the author) encourages Timothy to carry his responsibility as the leader and shepherd with the strength that of the Church (in Ephesus). comes from God. 9 He saved us and called us  Proclaiming the gospel is not an easy task, but he must do it with the power that comes from God. v.8 to a holy life, not according to our works  V.9 acknowledges God’s wondrous deeds to us:  He saves us. but according to his  He calls us to a holy life. own design and the grace bestowed on us  God’s salvation and call are made possible through in Christ Jesus before Jesus Christ. time began, 10 but  God has made Jesus Christ his instrument in now made manifest saving us and in bestowing his grace, which was once hidden, but now made known through the through the same Christ. appearance of our  Christ is known as the one who destroys death and savior Christ Jesus, brings life through the gospel. who destroyed death  Timothy has to work hard to spread the gospel and brought life and because it is through it that salvation and life come immortality to light to us. through the gospel.
  10. 10. Reflections on the 2 reading nd       To be God’s minister is not an easy job. To engage in missionary work, to give witness to God, one must have the strength (vocation) that comes from God. We, Christians, lay and religious, like Timothy, are called to evangelize and make people holy and send them to heaven. We should be willing to suffer (endure all things, to make sacrifices) for the sake of the gospel. Are you engaged in spreading the gospel? Do you have the courage and stamina to carry out your mission?
  11. 11. 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. The focus is on the transfiguration. 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
  12. 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." 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:     The transfiguration cannot be ignored. It has a big impact on the apostles. V.3 adds more characters in the story:     His face shining like the sun (very bright) His clothes becoming white as light. 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.
  13. 13. 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:    V.6 indicates the reaction of the disciples.     A bright cloud casts a shadow… A voice that says, “This is my beloved Son…” 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 were also transformed.
  14. 14. 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.
  15. 15. Reflections on the gospel reading       In one way or another, we, too, experience the transfiguration of Jesus. We see Jesus transfigured in his Word and the Eucharist. We hear the voice of God in our liturgy. We feel the joy of being one with him by receiving him in Holy Communion. This religious and spiritual experience should strengthen us as we carry our daily crosses. Have you ever had a faith experience (when you felt God was truly present in you)?
  16. 16. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm     The first reading is about the obedient Abram. Through Abram, other peoples will be blessed (strengthened). The psalm affirms God who saves and gives strength. The second reading is about Timothy who needs encouragement / strengthening in order to carry out the word of evangelization. The gospel reading is about the transfiguration that should strengthen the disciples, when they will be put into a crisis at the moment of his crucifixion and death.
  17. 17. 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.
  18. 18.  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 can have that if we are prayerful and we are always in journey with Jesus.
  19. 19.       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.
  20. 20.          In the first reading, we have here a man who quietly obeys God. Abram, though already weak and old, begins with a 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. 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.
  21. 21.  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.
  22. 22.  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.
  23. 23.  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, even if we are all baptized, there are some people who will not like us or agree with us.  There will be people who are mean to us.
  24. 24.  The eucharist is the sacrament of encouragement in which Jesus assures us, who believe, that everything will be fine, after our ordeals.  The eucharist makes us productive, heals our sterility, our paralysis and is a source of blessings.  The eucharist is God’s fulfillment of his promise to give us eternal life.
  25. 25. Our Context of Sin and Grace  Demoralization  Disillusionment  No more energy  Giving up, not continuing the struggle  Not willing to suffer  Hopelessness  Desperation  Good counselors  Social transformation  Willing to suffer and make sacrifices  Willing to take insults  Hopeful  Alay Kapwa
  26. 26. Suggested Songs  It’s Time to Prepare (preparation of gifts)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIandBaBMck I Love You All (communion)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxaP-9mLXCE  Pananagutan (recessional)
  27. 27. Signs of the Time  Uprising in Libya, return of OFWs to the Philippines  Earthquake, tsunami and explosions in nuclear plants in Japan

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