Category Archives: Lent

DO WE TELL JESUS THAT WE LOVE HIM?

DO WE TELL JESUS THAT WE LOVE HIM?

As people who are in love want to be reassured that they are loved, and want to hear over and over again the same words, let us do the same to Jesus.

“Don’t be afraid to call our Lord by his name — Jesus — and to tell him that you love him. St. Josemaria, The Way, n. 303.”

And let us say these words with all sincerity many times during the day.

Cordially inviting you to like and follow http://www.facebook.com/catholicsstrivingforholiness and share our posts to help more people in their Christian faith and life. Thanks and God bless! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.

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WANT TO LIVE THE HOLY WEEK THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY? SOME TIPS. Infographic + full text.

LIVE THE HOLY WEEK THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE: SOME TIPS.
Infographic + full text.

Dear brethren in Christ, as we approach the Holy Week during which we celebrate the Holy and Boundless Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ shown through His Passion, Death and Resurrection, we all want to take advantage of these days to live it the best way possible.

But, HOW COULD WE LIVE THE HOLY WEEK IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY?

The answer is in the question itself:
LIVE THE HOLY WEEK IN A HOLY MANNER.

There are many ways but these practical tips might help you:

  • Let us make sure that we are in the state of grace (without mortal sin). If not, I encourage you to receive God’s love, mercy and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession;
  • Say many acts of thanksgiving to Our Lord for His total love and self-giving, dying on the Cross in order to save us;
  • Accompany Him closely during these days through generous prayer and sacrifice in atonement of our sins and that of the whole world, meditating on the Gospel passages which narrate His Passion and Death to realize how much He loves you;
  • Attend the Holy Week Services on Holy Thursday and Good Friday and of course, make sure you go to Mass on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.
  • You may also want to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thursday in different Churches, the so-called, visita Iglesia.
  • Struggle to live a holy life, avoiding sins which are the cause of Christ’s Passion and Death;and practicing the virtues.
  • Say many acts of love, of contrition and of atonement.and reparation for our sins and those of the entire humanity.
  • Make life pleasant to the people around us, especially those who are in need;
  • If you’re going to participate in a procession or see one, offer up the tiredness, and in some cases, as in Seville, the inconveniences brought about by it for the entire Church, the conversion of sinners, in reparation for sins, for those who are suffering for whatever motive etc. We may also offer up small daily sacrifices for the same intentions.

As you can see, these tips are very much compatible with the much-needed vacation and rest during this Holy Week, which are ok, as long as we do not forget the real significance of the weeklong festivities.

May God bless you and your loved ones and MAY YOU LIVE THESE DAYS OF THE HOLY WEEK IN A HOLY MANNER and may you have a good week’s rest as well!

Cordially inviting you to like and follow www.facebook.com/Catholicsstrivingforholiness and share our posts to help more people in their Catholic faith and life. Thanks and God bless! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo

SEE AS WELL: HOLY WEEK: WHY IS IT CALLED “HOLY”? in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-2

ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCE: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/Cristo_crucificado.jpg

5th Sunday of Lent (A): LIVE IN CHRIST, DIE IN CHRIST, RESURRECT IN CHRIST. Summary vid + full text

5th Sunday of Lent (A)
LIVE IN CHRIST, DIE IN CHRIST, RESURRECT IN CHRIST.
Summary vid + full text

OUTLINE

  1. Summary of ideas of the Sunday readings
  2. Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life.
  3. To believe in Christ is to live His Life, to live in Spirit and abandon the life and works of the flesh and of sin.

With the commemoration of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection fast approaching, today’s Sunday opening prayer  reminds us that it was love that moved the Son to surrender to death for the salvation of the world.

“By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God, may we walk eagerly in that same charity with which, out of love for the world, your Son handed himself over to death.”
Opening prayer, 5th Sunday of Lent.

1. Summary of ideas of the Sunday readings

 

Having that said, God assures us in the 1st reading (Ezechiel 37:12–14), that we will participate in the Resurrection of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who will be given to us and with whom we will overcome death by resurrecting us so that we may participate in his Resurrection:

“O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them,…I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the Lord. I have promised, and I will do it, says the Lord (Ez 37:  12;14).”

2. Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life.

 

It is the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead and who, if he lives in us by grace, will also give life to our bodies (Romans 8:8–11). Jesus Himself, upon carrying out the miracle of resurrecting his beloved friend Lazarus, brother of Martha and Mary, revealed to us in today’s Gospel (John 11:3–7, 17, 20–27, 33b–45) that:

“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

3. To believe in Christ is to live His Life, to live in Spirit and abandon the life and works of the flesh and of sin.

 

Martha’s reply to Jesus’ question was:

“Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

And our reply would be the same.

Dear brethren in Christ, to believe in Christ requires coherence between our faith and our way of living. Faith in Jesus has vital repercussions.

  • True Faith in Jesus leads us to listen, follow and carry out His Word and Teachings transmitted to us through His Church, for faith has moral and ecclesial
  • Faith in Christ involves allowing His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to work in our heart, soul and life: to live a life in Spirit.
  • Living the life of the Spirit, however, requires that we struggle to abandon the life of the flesh, the life of sin, for “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God… Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”

Let us then live in, for and with Christ, and die with Him as well for
“if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him
(Rm 6:8-9)

Let us also give death to the old carnal man within us, giving death to sin, and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us in “other Christs,” for only then, living a life in Spirit, when the final judgment comes, shall we hear Christ calling us from our graves: “Come out!” And we shall have the same fate as that of Christ:
“If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you (Rm 8:11).”

Cordially inviting you to like and follow our FB page, http://www.facebook/Catholicsstrivingforholiness and share our posts in order to help more people in their Catholic faith and life. Thanks and God bless! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.

 

ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT/SOURCES:

https://uploads4.wikiart.org/images/giotto/raising-of-lazarus.jpg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/Giotto_Crucifixion.jpg http://www.rivagedeboheme.fr/medias/images/giotto.-noli-me-tangere-detail-1304-06-.jpg https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/a4/9f/ff/a49fffa03ae34995c0158fca2a9a892c.jpg https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/6f/28/dc/6f28dcdf5fadb9f0faabad70d59b42e6.jpg http://blogs.cuit.columbia.edu/deb2170/files/2014/12/Apse-of-St-Peters.jpg

4th Sunday of Lent (A). POPE FRANCIS: CHILDREN OF LIGHT, WALK IN THE TRUE LIGHT OF CHRIST.

POPE FRANCIS: CHILDREN OF LIGHT,
WALK IN THE TRUE LIGHT OF CHRIST.

 4th Sunday of Lent A

Dear brethren in Christ, below you have a ZENIT translation of Pope Francis’ Angelus address today , March 26, 2017 at noon to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square. Happy reading and meditation!

+++POPE’S ADDRESS BEGINSS HERE. FORMATTING MINE+++

Before the Angelus:

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

At the center of the Gospel, this Fourth Sunday of Lent, are Jesus and a man blind from birth (Jn 9: 1-41). Christ restores his sight and works this miracle with a kind of symbolic ritual: first, he mixes the earth with saliva and rubs it on his eyes; then, orders him to go and wash himself in the Pool of Siloam. The man goes, washes, and regains his sight. With this miracle, Jesus reveals himself as light of the world; and blind from birth is each of us, that we were created to know God, but because of sin, [we] are like the blind, we need a new light, that of faith, that Jesus has given us. In fact, the blind man of the Gospel regaining his vision opens to the mystery of Christ. “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?Jesus said to him, “You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.

This episode causes us to reflect on our faith in Christ, the Son of God, and at the same time, also refers to Baptism, which is the first sacrament of the faith, the sacrament that makes us “come to light” by the rebirth from ‘water and the Holy Spirit; as it happened to the man born blind, who opened his eyes after being washed in the Pool of Siloam. The man born blind and cured is when we do not realize that Jesus is “the light of the world,” when we look elsewhere when we prefer to rely on small lights when fumbling in the dark. We too have been “enlightened” to Christ in Baptism, and then we are called to behave as children of light. This requires a radical change in thinking, an ability to judge men and things according to a new scale of values, which comes from God. The sacrament of Baptism, in fact, demands a choice, firm and decided, to live as children of light, and to walk in the light.

What does it mean to walk in the light? It means first of all abandon the false ‘lights’: the cold and foolish light of prejudice against others, because the prejudice distorts reality and loads us with aversion towards those who we judge without mercy and condemn without cause. This is everyday life! When we talk of others, we don’t walk in the light, but walk in the shadows. Another false ‘light,’ so seductive and unclear, is self-interest: if we evaluate people and things based on the criterion of how they are useful to, our pleasure, our prestige, we make the truth in relationships and situations. If we walk this path of searching only personal interests, we walk in the shadow…

May the Blessed Virgin, who first welcomed Jesus, light of the world, grant us the grace to welcome again this Lent the light of faith and rediscover the inestimable gift of Baptism. And that this new enlightenment may transform us, in attitudes and actions, starting from our poverty and littleness, to be bearers of a ray of Christ’s light.

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

After the Angelus:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Yesterday in Almería (Spain), José Álvarez-Benavides y de la Torre, and 114 companions, martyrs, were beatified . These priests, religious and lay people have been heroic witnesses of Christ and his Gospel of peace and fraternal reconciliation. Their example and their intercession sustain the Church’s involvement in building the civilization of love.

I greet all of you, coming from Rome, Italy and other countries, in particular the pilgrims from Córdoba (Spain), the youth of Saint-Jean de Passy Paris College, the faithful of Loreto, the faithful of St. Helens Rende, Maiori, Poggiomarino and adolescents of the deanery “Roman-Vittoria” in Milan. And speaking of Milan, I would like to thank the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan [Cardinal Angelo Scola] and all the people for the warm welcome yesterday. Actually, I felt at home, and [felt] this [way] with everyone, believers and non-believers. Thank you so much, dear Milan, and I’ll tell you something: I’ve found that it’s true what they say: “In Milan, they welcome you with heart in hand!”.

I wish you all a good Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

ADDRESS SOURCE: https://zenit.org/articles/angelus-address-on-walking-in-the-true-light/

4th Lent A - Pope Francis. Walk in light

4th Sunday of Lent: “LAETARE or REJOICE SUNDAY. JESUS, OUR LIGHT AND OUR SHEPHERD. Summary vid + full text.

4th Sunday of Lent: “LAETARE or REJOICE SUNDAY.
JESUS, OUR LIGHT AND OUR SHEPHERD

Summary vid + full text.

OUTLINE

  1. The reason of our joy: Jesus has come to rescue us from darkness and bring us to light.
  2. Summary of ideas of the Sunday readings.
  3. Let us live as children of light in righteousness, truth and goodness, imitating Christ’s self-giving.

 “REJOICE, JERUSALEM, and all who love her.
BE JOYFUL, all who were in mourning;
exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast
(Is 66: 10-11, Entrance Antiphon).”

1.  The reason of our joy: Jesus has come to rescue us from darkness and bring us to light.

In this penultimate Sunday of Lent, called “Laetare (Rejoice)” Sunday, the Universal Church rejoices and exults and for what reason?

The Son of Man has come into the world to rescue us from darkness, accompanies us in this life as our Light and Shepherd and leads us to the splendor of the faith, as we pray in today’s Preface.

By the mystery of the Incarnation he has led the human race that walked in darkness into the radiance of the faith and has brought those born in slavery to ancient sin through the waters of regeneration to make them your adopted children.

2. Summary of ideas of the Sunday readings.

We have all been born lost and blind, deprived of the light of faith and the grace of God due to original sin. Out of love for us, God sent His Anointed One, Our Lord Jesus Christ, – prefigured in the Old Testament by King David (cf. 1Sm 16) –, as the “the light of the worldso that those who do not see might see (Jn 9:5, 39).”

Once we were asleep, we were in darkness, but now – by virtue of Our Lord’s Death and Resurrection, we have been reborn in Baptism such that now we “are light in the Lord…children of light” (Eph 5: 8-9).”

3. Let us live as children of light in righteousness, truth and goodness, imitating Christ’s self-giving.

Dear friends, let us thank God for His wondrous love, and rejoice for we can affirm that the Lord is our Light and our Shepherd” (cf. Resp. Psalm) who has rescued us from the dark valleys of sin and death and will accompany us in this life towards the verdant pastures and radiant and peaceful light of eternal repose and happiness.

Nevertheless, let us not forget that our condition as God’s children and his light bearers carries with it a great responsibility. It is necessary that we live a life of truth, righteousness, and goodness, pleasing Our Lord in our all our actions.

“Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness… “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” (Eph 5: 9-10, 14).”

Let us also remember that Christ’s earthly life is a path of total self-giving, out of love, up to the Cross which led to the glorious light of the Resurrection. Let us then imitate Him and “travel along the way of self-giving: the Cross on our shoulders, a smile on our lips and light in our hearts (St. Josemaria, The Way of the Cross, Second Station, 3)” for this is the path which leads to the radiant joy of eternal life.

“Self-giving is the first step along the road of sacrifice, joy, love, union with God. And thus, a whole life is filled with a holy madness which makes us encounter happiness where human logic would only see denial, suffering, pain (St. Josemaría, Furrow, n.2).”

A Blessed week ahead to you and your family!

Cordially inviting you to like, follow our FB page in www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness and share our posts so we could help more people in their Catholic faith and life. Thanks! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.

3rd Sunday of Lent (A): JESUS AND THE SAMARITAN WOMAN. Summary vid + full text.

3rd Sunday of Lent (A)
JESUS AND THE SAMARITAN WOMAN
“Lord, give me this water, that I may not thirst.”

OUTLINE

  1. Summary of Ideas of the Sunday Readings
  2. Jesus has come to save what was lost. His death is meant to save the entire humanity.
  3. The conversion of the Samaritan woman brought forth the conversion of others.

 

1. Summary of Ideas of the Sunday Readings

Today’s Sunday readings present to us the spiritual  symbol of water, its purifying and cleansing effect on the soul. In the 1st reading (Ex 17:3–7), the people of Israel in the desert, thirsty after their journey from Egypt fearing for their and their livestock’s lives, and doubting if the Lord is in their midst, complained and asked Moses for water. Moses, following God’s instructions, struck the rock –which symbolizes Christ, from whose heart will flow spirings of living water (Jn 7:38)– of Horeb with his staff and water flowed from it for the people to drink.

This event is an announcement of the water that will spring from the side of Christ after being lacerated by the soldier’s spear: a “living water” which Jesus described in today’s Gospel (Jn 4:5–42) which narrate his conversation with the Samaritan woman that “whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

That “living water” is “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” given to us in the Sacrament of Baptism with which we have received God’s grace, the remission of original sin, and have become children of God, saved by the “love that led Jesus Christ to die for us sinners” as we read in the 2nd reading (Rm 5:1–2, 5–8).

2. Jesus has come to save what was lost. His death is meant to save the entire humanity.

Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman as described in the Gospel is not insignificant. It is well-known that the Jews and Samaritans avoided dealings with each other for centuries, most especially in food and drink for the latter’s adoption of 5 pagan male idols whom they worship as Baal.

The fact that Jesus asked the Samaritan woman to “Give me a drink” and the intimate dialogue which ensued thereafter manifests the universality of Our Lord’s salvific mission.  The woman had a difficult marital life: she had 5 husbands, – a fact which she didn’t tell Jesus but He knew anyway, – which represent the five foreign tribes who intermarried with the northern Israelites (Samaritans) introduced five male deities into their religion (cf. 2 Kings 17:24-31), thereby making them unfaithful to the covenant with Yahweh and caused the animosity between them and the Jews. But Jesus was interested in all souls, especially those who are in most need of His mercy and salvation.

3. The conversion of the Samaritan woman brought forth the conversion of others.

The Samaritan woman, representing all who have not received Christian Baptism, had all the traits which allow Christ’s grace to enter in one’s soul.

  • She was ready to talk to Our Lord who was a Jew and this is the 1st step in her change of heart (v.9);
  • She had interest in what Christ was saying : “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw (v.15).
  • She was sincere and truthful, further opened up her heart to him admitting that “I have no husband” (v. 17); and makes an act of faith: “I perceive that you are a prophet” (v. 19).

Her conversion to Christ is symbolized by the fact that she “left her water jar”, a symbol of pagan religion, after asking Jesus to give her the “living water” He was speaking earlier,  “and went away into the city, and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?’  They went out of the city and were coming to him (vv. 28-30).”

Dear brethren in Christ, the conversion of one brought forth the conversion of many people:

“Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world ‘ (Jn 7:39-42).

As water is absolutely necessary for human life, much more is Christ’s living water, the baptismal grace, absolutely necessary for man’s salvation.

Let us through our daily struggle for conversion, our prayer, fidelity to Christ’s teachings and personal apostolate of friendship be instruments to bring souls to Christ so that their thirst for salvation may be quenched by the living water of Christ, his grace which provides eternal life.

A Blessed Sunday and week ahead!

Cordially inviting you to like and follow our page, www.facebook.com/Catholicsstrivingforholiness and share our posts so we could help more people in their Catholic faith and life. Thanks and God bless! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.

 

ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCES: http://www http://www.wga.hu/art/g/guercino/1/samarita.jpg .artita.ru/dat/g/guercino/23.jpg http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/ep/original/DP370887.jpg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1a/Angelika_Kauffmann_-_Christus_und_die_Samariterin_am_Brunnen_-1796.jpeg/1280px-Angelika_Kauffmann_-_Christus_und_die_Samariterin_am_Brunnen_-1796.jpeg http://www.wga.hu/art/d/duccio/maesta/predel_v/pre_v_6.jpg

POPE FRANCIS: THE CROSS, THE DOOR OF THE RESURRECTION.

POPE FRANCIS:
THE CROSS, THE DOOR OF THE RESURRECTION

Dear brethren in Christ, below you have the Zenit translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, March 12, 2017, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. Interesting read and text worthy to meditate.

SEE AS WELL:
LESSONS FROM THE TRANSFIGURATION in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-26g TRANSFIGURATION IN LENT? in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/02/19/2nd-sunday-of-lent-the-transfiguration-follow-christ-not-only-to-tabor-but-also-to-calvary/

+++POPE’S ADDRESS BEGINS HERE. FORMATTING MINE+++

Before the Angelus

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

The Gospel of this Second Sunday of Lent presents to us the account of Jesus’ Transfiguration (cf. Matthew 17:1-9). Taking three of the Apostles, Peter, James and John aside, He led them up a high mountain, where this singular phenomenon happened: Jesus’ face “shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light” (v. 2). Thus the Lord made that divine glory shine in His person, which could be received with faith in His preaching and in His miraculous gestures. And, accompanying the Transfiguration on the mountain was the apparition of Moses and Elijah, “talking with Him” (v. 3).

The “luminosity” that characterized this extraordinary event symbolized the purpose: to illumine the minds and hearts of the disciples, so that they could understand clearly who their Master was. It was a flash of light that opened suddenly on the mystery of Jesus and illumined His whole person and His whole story.

Now firmly on the way to Jerusalem, where He would suffer the condemnation to death by crucifixion, Jesus wished to prepare His own for this scandal — the scandal of the Cross –, for this scandal too strong for their faith and, at the same time, announce ahead of time His Resurrection, manifesting himself as the Messiahthe Son of God. And Jesus prepares them there for that sad moment of so much grief. In fact, Jesus was showing himself a different Messiah in regard to the expectations, to what they imagined about the Messiah, how the Messiah was: not a powerful and glorious king, but a humble and vulnerable Servant; not a lord of great wealth, sign of blessing, but a poor man who had no place to lay His head; not a Patriarch with numerous descendants, but a celibate without a home and without a nest. It was truly a revelation of God turned upside down, and the most disconcerting sign of this scandalous reversal is the cross. But precisely through the cross Jesus will attain His glorious Resurrection, which will be definitive, not like this Transfiguration that lasted a moment, an instant.

Jesus transfigured on Mount Tabor wished to show His disciples His glory not to avoid their passing through the cross, but to indicate where the cross leads to. One who dies with Christ, will rise with Christ. And the cross is the door of the Resurrection. One who fights with Him, will triumph with Him. This is the message of hope contained in Christ’s Cross, exhorting to fortitude in our existence. The Christian Cross is not a furnishing of the home or an ornament to wear, but the Christian cross is an appeal to the love with which Jesus sacrificed Himself to save humanity from evil and from sin. In this Lenten Season, we contemplate with devotion the image of the crucifix, Jesus on the cross: it is the symbol of the Christian faith; it is the emblem of Jesus, dead and risen for us. Let us so regard the Cross as marking the stages of our Lenten itinerary, to understand increasingly the gravity of sin and the value of the sacrifice with which the Redeemer saved us all.

The Holy Virgin was able to contemplate Jesus’ glory hidden in His humanity. May she help us to be with Him in silent prayer, and to let ourselves by illumined by His presence, to bear in our heart, through the darkest nights, a reflection of His glory.

[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

*

After the Angelus

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I express my closeness to the people of Guatemala, who are mourning for the serious and sad fire that broke out in the Virgin of the Assumption House of Refuge, causing victims and wounds among the girls living there. May the Lord welcome their souls, heal the wounds, console their grieving families and the whole nation. I pray and ask you to pray with me for all girls and boys victims of violence, mistreatments, exploitation and wars. This is a plague, this is a hidden scream which must be heard by all of us and which we cannot continue to pretend that we do not see or hear it.

A warm greeting goes to you all here present, faithful of Rome and of so many parts of the world. I greet the pilgrims of Fribourg and Mannheim, in Germany, as well as those of Lebanon and the marathoners of Portugal.

I greet the parish groups from Gioiosa Ionica and Pachino; the youngsters of Lodi who are preparing for their “Profession of Faith”; the students of Dalmine and Busto Arsizio: what you say is true: “No to the disposable culture” [he reads the banner]; and the “Drop after Drop” youth choir of Bergamo.

I wish you all a good Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon!

[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

NEWS SOURCE: https://zenit.org/articles/angelus-address-on-jesus-transfiguration-on-mount-tabor/

ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCE: https://semanariofides.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/la-transfiguracion.jpg

2nd Sunday Lent-Pope Francis. Transfiguration

GOD CALLS US TO CONVERSION. LET US RETURN TO HIM.

GOD CALLS US TO CONVERSION. LET US RETURN TO HIM.

 
God desires the conversion of sinners-our conversion- and promises life to those who turn their back from their evil ways. As the prophet Ezechiel 18:21-28 recounts:
 
“Thus says the Lord God: If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him; he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?, says the Lord God. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live?
 
And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil, the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does, can he do this and still live? None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered, because he has broken faith and committed sin; because of this, he shall die. You say, “The Lord’s way is not fair!” Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.”
 
Dear brethre in Christ, let us give God a great joy by heeding his call to return to his house through Confession, contrition and purpose of amendment, manifested by a sincere daily struggle to please Him in all that we do.
 
May Our Mother Mary, Help of Christians, pray for all of us so that many souls will return to God during this season of Lent!
SEE AS WELL:
MAKE GOD HAPPY, MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY. RECEIVE GOD’S FORGIVENESS IN CONFESSION in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-24V
JESUS CALLS US TO A CHANGE OF HEART in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-249
 
Cordially inviting you to like, follow and share the posts of our page, http://www.facebook.com/Catholicsstrivingforholiness so we could help more people in their Catholic faith and life and gains souls for Christ. Thanks and God bless! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.
 
PHOTO MINE.

2nd Sunday of Lent (A). LESSONS FROM OUR LORD’S TRANSFIGURATION. Summary vid + full text.

2nd Sunday of Lent
THE LESSONS OF OUR LORD’S TRANSFIGURATION
FROM THE SORROW OF THE CROSS TO THE GLORY OF RESURRECTION

OUTLINE

  1. Summary of Ideas of the Sunday readings.
  2. The Lessons from Our Lord’s Transfiguration at Mount Tabor.

2.1. The Revelation of the Trinity

2.2. It removes the scandal of the Cross: it forewarns and strengthens the faith and hope of the Apostles and His Church.

2.3. The indispensable importance of listening to Christ.

  1. We will also be transfigured with Christ if we faithfully follow His footsteps and embrace His Cross in our life.

 

1. Summary of Ideas of the Sunday readings.

From the sorrow of the Cross to the glory of Resurrection. This is the underlying message Jesus gave to his disciples in today’s Gospel (Mt 7:1-11) which narrates the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, after having announced to them his Passion and Death on the cross. In the same episode, God the Father reveals Jesus Christ as His Beloved Son to whom we must listen. Nourished by His Word, we will contemplate the glory of His face joyful (cf. Opening Prayer).

The 1st (Gn 12:1–4a) and 2nd reading (2 Tm 1:8b–10), on the other hand, tell us about the God’s call to a holy life (2nd reading) which supposes leaving what it takes to follow His call. Abraham, our father in the faith, is proposed as a model, leaving his land totally trusting in God (1st reading).

2. The Lessons from Our Lord’s Transfiguration at Mount Tabor.

2.1. The Revelation of the Trinity

The Transfiguration, in the first place, a manifestion and revelation of the Triune Nature of God, the Most Blessed Trinity and of Jesus Christ’ and our future glory of the Resurrection which comes by way of the Cross.

“the Father in the voice, the Son in the man Jesus, the Spirit in the shining cloud” (Saint Thomas Aquinas). Speaking with Moses and Elijah about his “departure” (Luke 9:31), Jesus reveals that his glory comes by way of the cross and he anticipates his resurrection and his glorious coming “which will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). Compendium, n. 110.

  • Moses and Elijah are the two most prominent representatives of the Old Testament — the Law and the Prophets. The fact that Christ occupies the central position points up his pre-eminence over them, and the superiority of the New Testament over the Old.

2.2. It removes the scandal of the Cross: it forewarns and strengthens the faith and hope of the Apostles and His Church.

Not content with telling them in advance about his Death and Resurrection on the third day, Jesus also wanted that the two of the three future pillars of the Church (cf. Gal 2:9) see his Transfiguration and thereby glimpse the glory and majesty with which his holy human nature will be endowed in heaven. For what reason? As St. Leo the Great taught in his sermon:

 “The great reason for this transfiguration was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of his disciples, and to prevent the humiliation of his voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed.

With no less forethought he was also providing a firm foundation for the hope of holy Church. The whole body of Christ was to understand the kind of transformation that it would receive as his gift: the members of that body were to look forward to a share in that glory which first blazed out in Christ their head. (St. Leo the Great, Sermon on the Transfiguration).”

2.3. The indispensable importance of listening to Christ.

God the Father gave us another important advice: to listen to His Beloved Son. In Our Lord Jesus Christ, God speaks to all men; and through the Church, his voice resounds in all ages. As St. John Paul clearly wrote:

The Church does not cease to listen to his words. She rereads them continually. With the greatest devotion she reconstructs every detail of his life. These words are listened to also by non-Christians. The life of Christ speaks, also, to many who are not capable of repeating with Peter, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (Mt 16:16). He, the Son of the living God, speaks to people also as Man: it is his life that speaks, his humanity, his fidelity to the truth, his all-embracing love. Furthermore, his death on the Cross speaks — that is to say the inscrutable depth of his suffering and abandonment. The Church never ceases to relive his death on the Cross and his resurrection, which constitute the content of the Church’s daily life… The Church lives his mystery, draws unwearyingly from it and continually seeks ways of bringing this mystery of her Master and Lord to humanity — to the peoples, the nations, the succeeding generations, and every individual human being
(St. John Paul II, Redemptor hominis, 7).”

3. We will also be transfigured with Christ if we faithfully follow His footsteps and embrace His Cross in our life.

Dear brethren in Christ, as Christians, we are called to a holy life, faithfully following the footsteps of Christ, identifying ourselves with Him during our earthly life.

Christian life is not comfortable but it is worthwhile since our way is that of Christ’s and His life  necessarily includes His Passion and Death on the Cross to culminate in His Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven.

Such will also be the life of Christians who unite themselves with Him. Let us then, with Christ, not be afraid to embrace and love the Cross and all it entails –pain, suffering, sacrifice, difficulties…– so as with Him we will arrive at the transfigured glory of the Resurrection which He promised to us.

Cordially inviting you to like and follow our page www.facebook.com/Catholicsstrivingforholiness and share our posts so we could reach and help more people in their Catholic faith and life. Thanks and God bless! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.

SEE AS WELL: TRANSFIGURATION IN THE SEASON OF LENT? https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/02/19/2nd-sunday-of-lent-the-transfiguration-follow-christ-not-only-to-tabor-but-also-to-calvary/

ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCES:

Transfiguration_Pergia, Collegio dell Cambio_1497-1500 in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/fcdaf-transfiguration_pergia252ccollegiodellcambio_1497-1500.jpg

Rubens in https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/30/Transfiguration-Rubens.JPG

Gerard David in https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4f/Gerard_David.Transfiguration_of_Christ02.jpg

http://dioscg.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/CreativeArtists.jpg

Mosaic in Church of Transfiguration (Mount Tabor) in https://c1.staticflickr.com/2/1412/728760122_65c8ec3aa4_b.jpg