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Sunday, February 24, 2002

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Second Sunday of Lent

Genesis 12:1-4
2 Timothy 1:8-10
Psalm 33
Matthew 17:1-9

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god died

"He was transfigured before their eyes." —Matthew 17:2

On Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, all the Catholics in the world who go to Mass will be asked during the renewal of the baptismal promises whether they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the uniquely begotten Son of God, that is, God Himself. On Good Friday, a day or two before we are invited to renew our baptismal promises, we will celebrate Jesus' terrible sufferings and death. How can Jesus, Who "was crucified out of weakness" (2 Cor 13:4), be the almighty God?

For many centuries, on the second Sunday of Lent, we have focused on the transfigured Christ. In the Transfiguration, we see Jesus in divine glory. We must never forget that the crucified Christ is the transfigured Lord God. Paradoxically, "it was fitting that when bringing many sons to glory God, for Whom and through Whom all things exist, should make their Leader in the work of salvation perfect through suffering" (Heb 2:10). Because Jesus obediently accepted "even death, death on a cross" (Phil 2:8), "God highly exalted Him" (Phil 2:9) "so that at Jesus' name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!" (Phil 2:10-11) In the Transfiguration, we are prepared to understand that Jesus' crucifixion and death is the greatest proclamation of His divinity. Jesus has died! Jesus is God!

Prayer:  Jesus, You are God, and You have commanded me to take up the cross each day. I listen to You (see Mt 17:5).

Promise:  "He has robbed death of its power and has brought life and immortality into clear light through the gospel." —2 Tm 1:10

Praise:  Praise Jesus, transfigured, crucified, risen, and glorified God!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001