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Sunday, February 17, 2008

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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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wake-up call

"Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured before their eyes. His face became as dazzling as the sun, His clothes as radiant as light." —Matthew 17:1-2

The key to the Christian life is to "keep our eyes fixed on Jesus" (Heb 12:2). When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we can resist temptation (Heb 12:2-4), walk on the water of all our problems (Mt 14:29), endure persecution, forgive our enemies, and lay down our lives for Christ (Acts 7:56ff). By fixing our eyes on Jesus, we become more aware of His presence and grow deeper in love with Him. However, the danger in fixing our eyes on Jesus (or anyone else), is to become so accustomed to Jesus that we take Him for granted. So, instead of growing in love we grow in apathy.

To reawaken us to Jesus' glory, we need to occasionally go up with Jesus on a high mountain and see Him transfigured. The mountain may be a healing, a tragedy, a special spiritual experience, a surprising revelation, etc. On this mountain we see Jesus in glory. We fall to our knees and say: "Because of this we no longer look on anyone in terms of mere human judgment. If at one time we so regarded Christ, we no longer know Him by this standard" (2 Cor 5:16). "Now all is new!" (2 Cor 5:17) With this renewed awareness of Jesus, we listen to Him more carefully (Mt 17:5), obey Him more strictly, and love Him more dearly.

Prayer:  Father, as we begin this Lent, give us the grace to see Jesus transfigured.

Promise:  "He [Jesus] 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, Who has conquered sin and death!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Apathy on audio AV 61-3 or video V-61.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007

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