Sunday, February 28
Second Sunday of Lent
Roman Ordinary calendar
Book of Genesis 22, 1-2.9a.10-13.15-18.
God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” he replied.
Then God said: “Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you.”
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up his son Isaac, and put him on top of the wood on the altar.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD’S messenger called to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered.
“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger. “Do not do the least thing to him. I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”
As Abraham looked about, he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. So he went and took the ram and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.
Again the LORD’S messenger called to Abraham from heaven
and said: “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing–all this because you obeyed my command.’
Psalms 116(115), 10.15.16-17.18-19.
I believed, even when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant; the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
In the courts of the house of the LORD,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Letter to the Romans 8, 31b-34.
Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us.
Who will condemn? It is Christ (Jesus) who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 9, 2-10.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Saint Ambrose (c. 340-397)
Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
Commentary on Saint Luke’s Gospel, VII, 9 f.
“He was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white”
Three persons were chosen to climb the mountain, two to appear with the Lord (…) Peter, who received the keys of the Kingdom of heaven, was one of those who climbed up, and John, to whom was entrusted the Mother of Jesus, and James, who would be the first to be elevated to the Episcopal dignity. Then Moses and Elijah, the Law and the prophets, appeared together with the Word (…) Let us, too, climb the mountain, let us beg the Word of God to appear to us in his “splendor and beauty”, to “be strong, go forth in majesty and reign” (Ps 45:4). (…)
For if you do not ascend to the peak of a higher knowledge, Wisdom will not appear to you, understanding of the mysteries will not make itself known. The splendor and beauty to be found in the Word of God will not appear to you, but God’s Word will seem like a body “without grace or beauty” (Is 53:2). He will seem to you like a man of suffering, “accustomed to infirmity” (v. 3), and like a word born of man, covered with the veil of the letter and not shining with the power of the Spirit (cf. 2 Cor 3:6-17). (…)
His clothing takes one appearance at the foot of the mountain, another at the top. It might be said that the garments of the Word are Scripture’s words that, so to speak, clothe the divine thoughts. And just as he appeared to Peter, James and John under another aspect, his garment dazzling white, so the meaning of the divine Scriptures is already explained in your mind’s eye. Thus the divine words become like snow “such as no one on earth could bleach them” (…)
Then followed a cloud that hid them under its shadow. This shadow is the divine Spirit, which does not cover over men’s hearts but brings to light what lies hidden (…) You see, perfect faith is knowledge of the Son of God, not just for beginners but for the perfect and even for the inhabitants of heaven.