Liturgy of the Sunday

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Second Sunday of Lent

First Reading

Genesis 15,5-12.17-18

Then taking him outside, he said, 'Look up at the sky and count the stars if you can. Just so will your descendants be,' he told him. Abram put his faith in Yahweh and this was reckoned to him as uprightness. He then said to him, 'I am Yahweh who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldaeans to give you this country as your possession.' 'Lord Yahweh,' Abram replied, 'how can I know that I shall possess it?' He said to him, 'Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon.' He brought him all these, split the animals down the middle and placed each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not divide. And whenever birds of prey swooped down on the carcases, Abram drove them off. Now, as the sun was on the point of setting, a trance fell on Abram, and a deep dark dread descended on him. When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passing between the animals' pieces. That day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram in these terms: 'To your descendants I give this country, from the River of Egypt to the Great River, the River Euphrates,


Psalm 26


Lord do not hide your face.

The Lord is my light and my help;
whom shall I fear?

'The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
before whom shall I shrink?

When evil-doers draw near
to devour my flesh,

it is they, my enemies and foes,
who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me
my heart would not fear.

Though war break out against me
even then would I trust.

There is one thing I ask of the Lord,
for this I long,

to live in the house of the Lord,
all the days of my life.

To savour the sweetness of the Lord,
to behold his temple.

For there he keeps me safe in his tent
in the day of evil.

He hides me in the shelter of his tent,
on a rock he sets me safe.

And now my head shall be raised
above my foes who surround me

and I shall offer within his tent a sacrifice of joy
I will sing and make music for the Lord

O Lord, hear my voice when I call;
have mercy and answer.

Of you my heart has spoken :'Seek his face'.
It is your face, O Lord, that I seek;

Hide not your face.
Dismiss not your servant in anger;

You have been my help do not abandon or forsake me,
O God my help!

Though father and mother forsake me,
The Lord will receive me.

Instruct me, Lord,
in your way;
on an even path lead me.

When they lie in ambush protect me from my enemy's greed.
False witnesses rise against me,
breathing out fury.

I am sure I shall see the Lord's goodness
in the land of the living.

Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.
Hope in the Lord!

Second Reading

Philippians 3,17-4,1

Brothers, be united in imitating me. Keep your eyes fixed on those who act according to the example you have from me. For there are so many people of whom I have often warned you, and now I warn you again with tears in my eyes, who behave like the enemies of Christ's cross. They are destined to be lost; their god is the stomach; they glory in what they should think shameful, since their minds are set on earthly things. But our homeland is in heaven and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transfigure the wretched body of ours into the mould of his glorious body, through the working of the power which he has, even to bring all things under his mastery. So then, my brothers and dear friends whom I miss so much, my joy and my crown, hold firm in the Lord, dear friends.

Reading of the Gospel

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Luke 9,28-36

Now about eight days after this had been said, he took with him Peter, John and James and went up the mountain to pray. And it happened that, as he was praying, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became sparkling white. And suddenly there were two men talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep, but they woke up and saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As these were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, 'Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.' He did not know what he was saying. As he was saying this, a cloud came and covered them with shadow; and when they went into the cloud the disciples were afraid. And a voice came from the cloud saying, 'This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.' And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. The disciples kept silence and, at that time, told no one what they had seen.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory


The Gospel that we just heard presents Jesus as he climbs up the mountain together with the three disciples who are the most connected to him: Peter, James, and John. Today we have also been brought to a high place, higher than the one where our selfish and petty habits keep us bound. The Sunday liturgy is not a precept or even the performance of a ritual: it is a moment in which we are torn away from our "ego" and carried higher. The Gospel says he took them "with him." That is to say that he tore them from themselves and involved them in his life, his vocation, his mission, and his path. On that day he led them up, on the mountain, to pray. It is not given to us to know the depth and the strength of the feelings of Jesus in these moments. But the description of the transfiguration lets us "see," or at least glimpse, what Jesus was feeling. The evangelist writes that "while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white" (Lk 9:29). The change in Jesus was so profound that it could be seen in his clothing. The prayer that he spoke on that day, in addition to being addressed to the Father, became a conversation with Moses and Elijah, about "his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem." Perhaps Jesus saw a brief summary of his entire earthly life, even glimpsing its tragic end. The disciples were there beside him, weighed down with sleep. They did all that they could to keep from being overcome by sleep: they stayed awake and saw the glory of God, the understood who Jesus was and what relationship he had with the Father. It was truly worthwhile to continue to look on that face, which was so different from the faces of men and women. From Peter's mouth come words of gratitude and amazement: "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Perhaps he did not know what he was saying, but he was struck by that vision. A cloud covered the three disciples, and they were terrified. Immediately they heard a voice from heaven, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" In the cloud, in the moments of fear, a voice can be clearly heard: The Gospel, which indicates in whom we should place our trust. When the three opened their eyes, they saw Jesus alone. Yes, Jesus alone is the master of life; he alone can save us. Without a doubt, this was an incredible experience for those three poor disciples, but it can also be our experience if we let ourselves be led by Jesus, who pulls us out of our selfishness and draws us into his life. We will participate in greater realities and feelings, and we will experience a different way of living. Our lives and our hearts will be transfigured, and we will become more similar to Jesus. The apostle Paul tells the Philippians: "He will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory" (Phil 3:21). The transfiguration represents breaking through our limits. It means contemplating how good the Lord his, how wide his horizons are, and how deep the demands of the Gospel are.