Mountains, weddings and feasts. These images are part of the first reading and the gospel. What do these images mean when we see them? For there are certain images that come back to us over and over again in the bible, and it is important for us to listen attentively to what they mean. Getting some background on the role of mountains when they appear in the bible, and on how wedding feasts worked out help us to apply the invitation to our own lives. Just as the king invites guests to his wedding, so too does God invite us to be a part of his kingdom. But when we say yes to Jesus, there is no going back.
How readily do we look for the holy presence of God in our daily lives? How well do we seek to know Jesus? For if we do not know Jesus well, we might not recognize the ways he comes into our lives. Be watchful for Jesus.
The pathway to happiness and fulfillment is counter intuitive. To find ourselves, we must lose ourselves. It is in giving that we receive. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
How can you be generous? That is the message of hope we are called to have as people of faith. How can your generosity be increased? How can your example of sacrifice help others to see how the faith produces calm and peace? How is it we can increase our faith in God, who is far stronger than any other created thing, even a coronavirus. All the readings provide us examples of what hope in God brings. Pray for the virtue of hope, and ask God to give you and witness to that peace that comes from deep faith in him.
Every Second Sunday of Lent we hear an account of the Transfiguration. Why is this?
The gospel this Sunday is about the temptation of Jesus. Jesus is led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted. But why? Why was it the Spirit led Jesus into the desert? Saint Thomas Aquinas provides four reasons, and we have much we can learn from today’s Gospel.
The prophet Isaiah is the key prophet of the Old Testament. Except for the Psalms, the prophet Isaiah is the longest book of the Old Testament. This year, all four of the first readings during the season of Advent, as well as many daily Mass readings come from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Orthodox Christian Church even celebrates Saint Isaiah on May 9. Why is he so important? First, his prophecy is grounded in a powerful relationship with God. The vision we hear described at the start of the book of Isaiah forms the foundation for everything he says. Second, he is able to read the signs of the times. While he was surely politically astute, his message is consistent. Trust in God. Third, Isaiah recognizes and challenges people to see that sincere faith in God impacts the behaviors of our lives. Lastly, it is easy to see in the prophecies of Isaiah a foreshadowing of the life of Jesus and the arrival of the Messiah.
In the first book of Samuel, chapter eight, the people ask Samuel for a king. Forgetting that God is their king, or perhaps more accurately rejecting the kingship of God, the people want to be just like other nations. Notice this. The people want to be just like other nations. The idea is one that remains common today. Sometimes we too find ourselves wanting to fit in, to be just like everyone else. Whether it is because we find ourselves unwilling to fin God because we sin, or simply do not desire to think about God, we can still experience a tension between God’s way and ours. This weekend by celebrating Christ the King we see how they coincide and complement each other.