Welcome to our Bible Study

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Transcript Welcome to our Bible Study

Welcome to our Bible Study
2nd Sunday of Lent A
March 16, 2014
In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy
As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing
Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
1st reading: Genesis 12,1-4a
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1 The LORD said to Abram: "Go forth from
the land of your kinsfolk and from your
father's house to a land that I will show
you. 2 "I will make of you a great nation,
and I will bless you; I will make your name
great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I
will bless those who bless you and curse
those who curse you. All the communities
of the earth shall find blessing in you." 4
Abram went as the LORD directed him.
The focus is on God’s blessing to Abram.
1st reading: Genesis 12,1-4a
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1 The LORD said to
Abram: "Go forth
from the land of
your kinsfolk and
from your father's
house to a land that
I will show you. 2 "I
will make of you a
great nation, and I
will bless you; I will
make your name
great, so that you
will be a blessing. 3
I will bless those
who bless you and
curse those who
curse you. All the
communities of the
earth shall find
blessing in you." 4
Abram went as the
LORD directed him.
Commentary
 Gen 12 starts the story of the Patriarchs (Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob).
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The reading tells us about
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In v. 1, the Lord asks Abram to leave Haran (Northwest
of Mesopotamia) and go to Canaan.
Vv.2-3 speak of God’s promises to Abram
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God ordering Abram (Abraham later) to move to an
unknown place,
his promises to him and
Abram’s obedience.
to make him a great nation (not just a small clan)
to make his name great (to make him famous)
Blessing here is synonymous to having many
descendants (a great nation).
The blessing mentioned in Gen 1 (1st creation story)
continues with Abram.
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God’s purpose for Abram: to be a blessing (to be a
source of blessing)
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V.4 affirms the obedience of Abram.
Start of the Journey of Abram
Destination of Abram
Map used with permission from PBS
Reflections on the 1st reading
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Like Abram, we should listen to, believe in and
obey God.
Like Abram, we start our life story and history
with God.
Our life should be a story of a journey of faith in
God, who calls us to share in his life.
We cannot reach our destiny, attain God’s
purpose in us, if we don’t listen and obey God.
We, too, are called to become sources of
blessings to other people.
Resp. Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
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R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in
you.
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4 Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
5 He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
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18 See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
19 To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
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20 Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
22 May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
Resp. Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
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R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be
on us, as we place our trust in
you.
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4 Upright is the word of the
LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
5 He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the
earth is full.
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18 See, the eyes of the LORD
are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his
kindness,
19 To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of
famine.
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20 Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
22 May your kindness, O LORD,
be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
Commentary:
 The psalm is classified as hymn of
praise.
 V.4 reflects Abram’s response to
God.
 V.5 affirms God’s values: justice,
righteousness. It also affirms God’s
trait: he is kind.
 Vv.18-19 affirm that God takes care
of those who fear him and hope in
him. He saves and preserves them
from death.
 In v.20, the psalmist affirms God’s
protection.
 In v.22, the psalmist prays that God
may be kind (be gracious, give
favor) to those who trust and hope
in him.
Reflections on the Psalm
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We, Christians, must learn how to trust in God.
Like the psalmist, we must be able to affirm
God’s goodness to us.
We must pray to God affirming his kindness and
mercy to us.
All the more we should do this, when we are in
crisis, when our lives are threatened and when
our friends have abandoned us.
2nd reading: 2 Timothy 1,8b-10
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8 Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with
the strength that comes from God. 9 He saved
us and called us to a holy life, not according to
our works but according to his own design and
the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before
time began, 10 but now made manifest through
the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who
destroyed death and brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel.
The focus is on bearing the hardship…
2nd reading: 2 Timothy 1,8b-10
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Commentary
8 Bear your share of
hardship for the gospel  Paul (not really the author) encourages Timothy to
carry his responsibility as the leader and shepherd
with the strength that
of the Church (in Ephesus).
comes from God. 9 He
saved us and called us  Proclaiming the gospel is not an easy task, but he
must do it with the power that comes from God. v.8
to a holy life, not
according to our works  V.9 acknowledges God’s wondrous deeds to us:
but according to his
 He saves us.
own design and the
 He calls us to a holy life.
grace bestowed on us  God’s salvation and call are made possible through
in Christ Jesus before
Jesus Christ.
time began, 10 but
 God has made Jesus Christ his instrument in
now made manifest
saving us and in bestowing his grace, which was
once hidden, but now made known through the
through the
same Christ.
appearance of our
 Christ is known as the one who destroys death and
savior Christ Jesus,
brings life through the gospel.
who destroyed death
and brought life and
 Timothy has to work hard to spread the gospel
because it is through it that salvation and life come
immortality to light
to us.
through the gospel.
Reflections on the 2nd reading
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To be God’s minister is not an easy job.
To engage in missionary work, to give witness to God,
one must have the strength (vocation) that comes from
God.
We, Christians, lay and religious, like Timothy, are called
to evangelize and make people holy and send them to
heaven.
We should be willing to suffer (endure all things, to make
sacrifices) for the sake of the gospel.
Are you engaged in spreading the gospel?
Do you have the courage and stamina to carry out your
mission work?
Gospel reading: Matthew 17,1-9
Going up
 1 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and
led them up a high mountain by themselves.
Transfiguration
 2 And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and
Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. 4 Then Peter said to
Jesus in reply, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will
make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
Voice from God
 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow
over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my
beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."
Reaction of the disciples
 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very
much afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and
do not be afraid." 8 And when the disciples raised their eyes, they
saw no one else but Jesus alone.
The focus is on the transfiguration.
Coming down
 9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them,
"Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised
from the dead."
Gospel reading: Matthew 17,1-9
Going up
 1 After six days Jesus
took Peter, James, and
John his brother, and led
them up a high mountain
by themselves.
Transfiguration
 2 And he was transfigured
before them; his face
shone like the sun and his
clothes became white as
light. 3 And behold,
Moses and Elijah
appeared to them,
conversing with him. 4
Then Peter said to Jesus
in reply, "Lord, it is good
that we are here. If you
wish, I will make three
tents here, one for you,
one for Moses, and one
for Elijah."
Commentary
 V.1 provides the setting of the
transfiguration: high mountain, with Peter,
James and John
 In v.2, Jesus is transfigured (transformed,
metamorphosed) without any warning.
 The transfiguration is vividly described as:
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The transfiguration cannot be ignored. It
has a big impact on the apostles.
V.3 adds more characters in the story:
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His face shining like the sun (very bright)
His clothes becoming white as light.
Moses (who represents the Torah)
Elijah (who represents the Prophets)
In v.4, Peter offers to make 3 tents for
them.
The sight gives him a good feeling. He
finds himself in the right place. He wants
to prolong the experience.
Gospel reading: Matthew 17,1-9
Voice from God
 5 While he was still
speaking, behold, a bright
cloud cast a shadow over
them, then from the cloud
came a voice that said,
"This is my beloved Son,
with whom I am well
pleased; listen to him."
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Reaction of the disciples
 6 When the disciples
heard this, they fell
prostrate and were very
much afraid. 7 But Jesus
came and touched them,
saying, "Rise, and do not
be afraid." 8 And when
the disciples raised their
eyes, they saw no one
else but Jesus alone.
V.5 interrupts Peter’s proposal.
Another bonus for Peter and the other
apostles:
V.6 indicates the reaction of the
disciples.
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A bright cloud casts a shadow…
A voice that says, “This is my beloved
Son…”
They prostrate and are afraid (a
reaction to the encounter with the
sacred).
In v.7, Jesus comes and touches them
(another bonus).
In v.8, the disciples are back to the
normal state.
Unknowingly, the disciples are also
transformed.
Gospel reading: Matthew 17,1-9
Coming down
 9 As they were
coming down from the
mountain, Jesus
charged them, "Do
not tell the vision to
anyone until the Son
of Man has been
raised from the dead."
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V.9 closes what has been started in v.1.
V.9 speaks of Jesus and the apostles
coming down the mountain.
In v.9, Jesus commands the disciples to
keep the vision secret until his
resurrection.
In the transfiguration story, Jesus
announces his resurrection.
The apostles at this moment do not know
what is going to happen.
They are asked not to say anything until
the picture of Jesus is totally completed at
Mt. Calvary.
Mt. Tabor, site of Transfiguration
16,13-20 Peter’s Confession about Jesus
16,21-23 First Prediction of the Passion
16,24-28 The Conditions of Discipleship
17,1-8
17,9-13
17,14-22
17,23
Used with permission from PBS
Transfiguration
The Coming of Elijah
The Healing of a Boy with a Demon
The Second Prediction of the Passion
Reflections on the gospel reading
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In one way or another, we, too, experience the
transfiguration of Jesus.
We see Jesus transfigured in his Word and the
Eucharist.
We hear the voice of God in our liturgy.
We feel the joy of being one with him by receiving him
in Holy Communion.
This religious and spiritual experience should
strengthen us as we carry our daily crosses.
Have you ever had a faith experience (when you felt God
was truly present in you)?
Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm
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The first reading is about the obedient Abram. Through
Abram, other peoples will be blessed (strengthened).
The psalm affirms God who saves and gives strength.
The second reading is about Timothy who needs
encouragement / strengthening in order to carry out the
word of evangelization.
The gospel reading is about the transfiguration that
should strengthen the disciples, when they will be put
into a crisis at the moment of his crucifixion and death.
How to develop your homily / sharing
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Describe yourself when you are in a crisis.
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You are confused.
You commit a series of errors.
You misjudge.
You are discouraged.
You become lazy and don’t want to work anymore.
The readings teach us where to draw strength
to cope with crisis situations.
There is no such thing as life without crisis or
sufferings.
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In the gospel, the transfiguration of Jesus is an
unexpected gift of Jesus to his disciples who will soon
face bigger difficulties.
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The transfiguration gives the apostles a taste of who he
really is and what is in store for them.
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Embedded in the story of the transfiguration is the
prediction of Jesus’ suffering and death (and resurrection).
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We need to have a deep religious experience to be
strong in our faith.
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We can have that if we are prayerful and we are always
in journey with Jesus.
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In the second reading, Paul tries to “transfigure” Timothy,
a church leader who is tasked to shepherd his flock.
Paul encourages Timothy to willingly take up his
responsibility as an evangelizer.
Timothy has to bear the burden of transmitting the
gospel traditions.
He has to prepare others to take over his place just like
how Paul (the imprisoned) has prepared him.
We need words of encouragement from authorities, from
those who are above us.
We cannot survive long if we work all by ourselves,
without recognizing those who empowered us and
without considering those who will continue our work.
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In the first reading, we have here a man who
quietly obeys God.
Abram, though already weak and old, begins with
a long journey to an unknown land, banking on
and carrying with him God’s promises.
The belief that God will fulfill his promises is what
makes him move on.
This encourages him to leave his homeland and
to settle down in Canaan.
The unknown future becomes the dream of
old Abram.
 Abram will have children, land and
blessings.
 God will do something to overcome Sarai’s
sterility and old age.
 We can embark on a long journey, in spite
of our fragility, if we cooperate with the
grace of God.
 God’s big promises will not come easy.
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Do we easily get discouraged in the face of trials
and difficulties?
In this season of Lent, the transfiguration of Jesus
should encourage us, like the apostles, to
continue journeying in our faith.
It should make us cling to Jesus in times of
troubles.
We must take Abram as a good example, who
believes in God’s promises.
He moves away from his comfort zone in order to
pursue God’s promises.
He believes that God will keep his promises.
Abram is patient.
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Paul encourages Timothy to take up the burden
of spreading the gospel because it will bear fruit.
No effort exerted will be wasted.
Jesus is our best example.
To return to God in glory, Jesus had to embrace
passion and death.
Glorification, as previewed in his transfiguration,
is only attained through the way of the cross.
Do you want to share in his glory? Follow his
footsteps. Carry your cross.
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If we want (or if we are called) to take leadership
in the Church and do great things for God, we
must have faith in God, like Abram.
And we must be ready to suffer and die for him,
like Jesus.
In the Church, there are some people who will
not like us or agree with us.
There will be people who are mean to us.
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The eucharist is the sacrament of
encouragement in which Jesus assures us,
who believe, that everything will be fine, after
our ordeals.
The eucharist makes us productive, heals our
sterility, our paralysis and is a source of
blessings.
The eucharist is God’s fulfillment of his
promise to give us eternal life.
Our Context of Sin and Grace
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Demoralization
Disillusionment
No more energy
Giving up, not
continuing the
struggle
Not willing to suffer
Hopelessness
Desperation
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Good counselors
Social transformation
Willing to suffer and
make sacrifices
Willing to take insults
Hopeful
Alay Kapwa
Suggested Songs
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It’s Time to Prepare (preparation of gifts)
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I Love You All (communion)
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIandBaBMck
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxaP-9mLXCE
Pananagutan (recessional)