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Sunday, February 23, 1997

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Second Sunday of Lent

Genesis 22:1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18
Psalm 116
Romans 8:31-34
Mark 9:2-10

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listening post

"Listen to Him." —Mark 9:7

The Lord is the most important Person in the world to listen to, and the most important thing He says is: "If a man wishes to come after Me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and follow in My steps" (Mk 8:34). Nevertheless, although the message of the cross is the power and the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24), we, like the apostles, find it the most difficult message to listen to.

So Jesus led three apostles "up a high mountain. He was transfigured before their eyes" (Mk 9:2). Light burst forth from Jesus' transfigured body. Moses and Elijah, who had both been dead for several centuries, appeared (Mk 9:4). Next, a cloud came and overshadowed the apostles (Mk 9:7). Out of the cloud, God the Father's voice announced: "This is My Son, My Beloved. Listen to Him" (Mk 9:7). The dazzling light, the return of Moses and Elijah from the dead, the cloud, and the voice were all part of a drama proclaiming emphatically the necessity of listening to Jesus.

After the Transfiguration, Jesus again talked to His apostles about the cross. The apostles still didn't listen (Mk 9:31-32). Finally, they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Then they listened to Jesus and carried their crosses daily.

We must listen to Jesus. Otherwise, this day will be wasted or perhaps even worse. We must listen to Jesus or we will not be able to renew our baptismal promises at Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday Mass. We must listen to Jesus or miss out on life now and forever. "Listen to Him" (Mk 9:7). Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, I will listen to You when You tell me to listen to Jesus.

Promise:  "Is it possible that He Who did not spare His own Son but handed Him over for the sake of us all will not grant us all things besides?" —Rm 8:32

Praise:  Praise and honor to Jesus, crucified, risen, and glorified!

Reference:  (For more teaching on this subject, order our pamphlet, Hearing God.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 1, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 6, 1996