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Jesus is the Chosen One PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 17 March 2019: Second Sunday of Lent

The Lord is my light and my salvation

The Transfiguration of our LordEach year of the three-year cycle, the gospel of the second Sunday of Lent tells of the Transfiguration. This year we have Luke's account. Luke presents this incident as Jesus instructs his disciples - preparing them for his journey to Jerusalem to meet his fate. The liturgical tradition echoes this outlook, inviting us to learn the lessons of this mysterious incident as we begin our journey of Lent. In Luke's account, in the verses immediately preceding, Jesus has warned the apostles of what lies ahead: 'The Son of Man will be rejected and put to death'; more than that, everyone who wants to be his follower 'must take up his cross every day and follow him' (9:22-23). Luke's account clearly has these warnings in mind. It is filled with reassurance for the chosen followers Jesus has brought up the mountain with him. Moses and Elijah (representing the Law and the Prophets, the great bearers of old Israel's hopes) are conversing with Jesus concerning 'his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem' (the destiny of Israel was established in the original Passover and Exodus; in what lies ahead, this great destiny is to reach its final moment - as the shadows of the old order give way to the reality they prefigure, the Paschal Mystery). From the 'cloud', so often a symbol of God's presence in the first Exodus, the voice of the Father confirms what Jesus has told them of this new Passover: 'This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.'

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series | Image courtesy of Hermano Leon Clipart

 
The temptations of Jesus PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 10 March 2019: First Sunday of Lent

The devil tries to tempt JesusFilled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led by the Spirit through the wilderness where he was tempted

...In the gospel accounts, the temptations of Jesus are closely linked with his baptism by John: ‘Filled with Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit through the wilderness, being tempted there’. In the Jordan he showed that he had thrown in his lot with struggling humanity - ‘put to the test in exactly the same way as ourselves, apart from sin’ (Hebrews 4:15). By his example, and finally through the power of his Paschal Mystery, he would make himself the ‘Way’ to the fullness of life for a lost world. Our reading from Paul to the Romans celebrates this triumphant outcome.

As we reflect upon the conversion to which the Church invites us during our Lenten journey, the Lord’s example should be our inspiration. The temptations he faced encourage us to look beyond superficial problems in our lives and characters, and to face up to the root causes of these failings – the false gods that so easily seduce our divided human hearts. Today’s liturgy brings us another valuable lesson...

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series | Image courtesy of Hermano Leon Clipart

 
The ways of the living God PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 03 March 2019: Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Each tree is known by its yield

Artist drawing Jesus on footpathOnce more, to appreciate what Luke intends to convey in today’s gospel reading, we must hear it as a continuation of the passage we have reflected upon the last two Sundays. The parables of Jesus recalled in this reading are so familiar that they have become proverbial: the blind leading the blind; the splinter in the brother’s eye, a tree known by its fruits. Luke wants us to recognise that - as part of the teaching of Jesus - these parables are far more than the expression of homely truths. They certainly do express truths that are applicable to every human situation - continuing the wisdom tradition of old Israel, so wonderfully expressed in the reading from the book of Ecclesiasticus. But the Good News of the Kingdom brought by Jesus (expressed in the teaching to the disciples we have already reflected upon) brings a truth far greater than has ever been expressed before. It is the promise of a new kind of existence, to be found by identifying with the ways of the living God - after the example of the One who is the revelation of the Father...

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series | Image courtesy of pixabay.com

 
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