Sunday, February 21, 2016

Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18, Psalm 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14, Philippians 3:17—4:1, Luke 9:28b-36


Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18, Psalm 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14, 
Philippians 3:17—4:1, 
Luke 9:28b-36

Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18

My Beloved, Abram asked God how he would know that he would indeed possess the land God had promised him. The Lord asked for burnt offerings which were were laid down before Him and in a fiery consuming of the offering God ratified  the Covenant He made with Abram.

My Beloved, God makes a Covenant with us as well – an irrevocable Covenant of Love which He ratified by the offering of Yourself as a burnt offering, a Sacrifice pleasing and acceptable to Him. An eternal Covenant sealed and ratified in the spotless Blood of the Lamb that was slain for our sins obtaining for us eternal life in exchange for death. We inherited a share in Your Kingdom.

Psalm 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14

My Beloved, in Your Word to Me today You said, “Do not be afraid.” Now the psalmist reminds me that with You as my light and my salvation I need fear nothing for there is no reason to be afraid. You are my refuge, my hiding place. At the sound of my cry for help You take pity on Me and answer me. You have never hidden Your Face from me. I can come before Your Holy Presence night or day and You are there always. I only need patience and I need to wait on You – my deliverance will come at a time of Your choosing. I am confident that You, my Beloved, will never fail me ever.

Philippians 3:17—4:1

My Beloved, St. Paul imitated You and so did all the Saints. As a member of Your Body, the Church I too ought to say as confidently as St. Paul, “Unite in imitating me.” If I am not able to then I must examine myself because consciously or not people who look at me may imitate me. What kind of witness do I make? Do I lead people to You or away from You?

The world is full of wickedness and many promote evil as good presenting it in such an attractive way that many are deceived into subscribing to lies. The worship of the body and self-indulgence are taken to heights that were previously unknown because of advancements made in so many fields. Those who perpetrate lies for personal gain are prepared to go to any lengths to encourage the pandering of the flesh. Today we are reminded that we live here as aliens because we are citizens of heavens and while we wait for Your second coming to take us home, we must live as those who are in the world but not of it. Our bodies were made to share in Your glory as we submit our whole being to You in all things.

I am called to be Your crown and Your glory here on earth. Grant me a full measure of Your Holy Spirit so I may remain steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and patient in persevering until You call me to Yourself.

Luke 9:28b-36

My Beloved, every encounter with God in prayer ought to be life-changing, life-transforming just as You point out to us in the Transfiguration. You took the three who belonged to Your inner circle Peter, John, and James up the mountain to pray. They too were to pray with You unfortunately, as it happens so often with us poor, frail creatures, they were overcome with sleep. Because our prayer experience is not as it should be we get bored, we become drowsy, our lids get heavy and we fall asleep. Or our prayer is perfunctory – we pray more because we have to, more as a duty to be performed and to get over with rather than a time to be alone with You and share everything as our Friend, Brother and Spouse.

Prayer ought to be a joyful encounter with You, a time when are attentive to the Holy Spirit listening to all that You wish to say to us and reveal to us. Prayer for You was a time to get away from the clamor of the crowds who drained You with their constant demands and sapped Your strength – it was a time of just resting in the bosom of Your Dad and the Holy Spirit to minister to You and rejuvenate You. It was a time of just being with Your Father and being embraced and united completely with Him.

Through the Transfiguration You reveal to us the transforming power of prayer but You also wish us to know that here is where we receive all the grace and strength we need to meet challenges in our life. Our time of prayer must give us confidence to face the future without anxiety. We must receive wisdom to live life according to divine standards rather than worldly standards. And after our encounter with God, after being refreshed, replenished, rejuvenated and renewed we must descend carrying our mountain top experience with us into our daily lives witnessing joyfully the Good News to those in the world and sharing what we have received.

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