2nd Sunday of Lent (C)

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Papal Homilies

Pope Francis

March 13, 2013 – Present

MARCH 17, 2019 | Angelus

The End of Our Journey

[In the Transfiguration] the Lord reveals to us the end of this journey which is the Resurrection, beauty: by carrying one’s own cross.

The Transfiguration occurs at a precise moment in Christ’s mission, that is, after he has confided to his disciples that he would have to “suffer many things, […] be killed, and on the third day be raised” (v. 21). Jesus knows that they do not accept this reality — the reality of the Cross, the reality of Jesus’ death —, and so he wants to prepare them to withstand the scandal of the passion and death on the Cross, so that they may know that this is the way through which the heavenly Father will lead his Son to glory; by raising him from the dead. And this will also be the way for the disciples: no one can reach eternal life if not by following Jesus, carrying their own cross in their earthly life. Each of us has his or her own cross. The Lord reveals to us the end of this journey which is the Resurrection, beauty: by carrying one’s own cross.

Therefore, the Transfiguration of Christ shows us the Christian perspective of suffering. Suffering is not sadomasochism: it is a necessary but transitory passage. The point of arrival to which we are called is luminous like the face of Christ Transfigured: in him is salvation, beatitude, light and the boundless love of God. By revealing his glory in this way, Jesus ensures that the cross, the trials, the difficulties with which we struggle, are resolved and overcome in Easter. Thus this Lent, let us also go up the mountain with Jesus! But in what way? With prayer. Let us climb the mountain with prayer: silent prayer, heartfelt prayer, prayer that always seeks the Lord. Let us pause for some time in reflection, a little each day, let us fix our inner gaze on his countenance and let us allow his light to permeate us and shine in our life.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

FEBRUARY 21, 2016 | Angelus

The Lord Shows Us the Light of His glory through the Body of the Church

The light of a faith… transfigures faces and illumines our path.

The apostolic visit that I made to Mexico some days ago was an experience of transfiguration for all of us. How so? Because the Lord has shown us the light of his glory through the body of the Church, of his holy people that live in this land. It is a body so often wounded, a people so often oppressed, scorned, violated in its dignity. Therefore the various encounters we experienced in Mexico were truly full of light: the light of a faith that transfigures faces and illumines our path.

The spiritual “centre of gravity” of my pilgrimage was the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. To remain in silence before the image of the Mother was my principal aim. I thank God that he gave me this opportunity. I contemplated and I allowed myself to be gazed upon by she who carries imprinted in her eyes the gaze of all her children, gathering up the sorrows caused by violence, kidnapping, assassinations, the violence against so many poor people, against so many women. Guadalupe is the most visited Marian shrine in the world. From all over the Americas, people go to pray where la Virgen Morenita appeared to the Indian, St Juan Diego, which set in motion the evangelization of the continent and its new civilization, a fruit of the encounter between diverse cultures.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

homilies

2nd Sunday of Lent (C)

Pope Benedict XVI

April 19, 2005 – February 28, 2013

FEBRUARY 24, 2013 | Angelus

Coming Back Down from the Mountain

The Lord is calling me “to scale the mountain”, to devote myself even more to prayer and meditation.

Peter’s words “Master, it is well that we are here” represent the impossible attempt to put this mystical experience on hold. St Augustine commented: “[Peter]… on the mountain… had Christ as the food of his soul. Why should he have to go down to return to his hard work and sorrows while up there he was filled with sentiments of holy love for God and which thus inspired in him a holy conduct? (Sermon 78,3: pl 38, 491).

In meditating on this passage of the Gospel, we can learn a very important lesson from it: first of all, the primacy of prayer, without which the entire commitment to the apostolate and to charity is reduced to activism. In Lent we learn to give the right time to prayer, both personal and of the community, which gives rest to our spiritual life. Moreover, prayer does not mean isolating oneself from the world and from its contradictions, as Peter wanted to do on Mount Tabor; rather, prayer leads back to the journey and to action. “The Christian life”, I wrote in my Message for this Lent, “consists in continuously scaling the mountain to meet God and then coming back down, bearing the love and strength drawn from him, so as to serve our brothers and sisters with God’s own love” (n. 3).

Dear brothers and sisters, I hear this word of God as addressed to me in particular at this moment of my life. Thank you! The Lord is calling me “to scale the mountain”, to devote myself even more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church; indeed, if God asks me this it is precisely so that I may continue to serve her with the same dedication and the same love with which I have tried to do so until now, but in a way more suited to my age and strength.

Pope Benedict XVI announced his intention to resign in Latin at the Apostolic Palace in the Sala del Concistoro, at an early morning gathering on 11 February 2013—the World Day of the Sick, a Vatican holy day. The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI took effect on 28 February 2013 at 20:00 CET,

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

FEBRUARY 28, 2010 | Angelus

Jesus Alone

The joys sown by God in life are not finishing lines; rather they are lights he gives us during our earthly pilgrimage in order that “Jesus alone” may be our Law…

Luke does not speak of the Transfiguration but describes what happens through two elements: the Face of Jesus which changes and his clothes that become a dazzling white in the presence of Moses and Elijah, a symbol of the Law and of the Prophets. The three disciples who witness the scene are heavy with sleep: this is the attitude of those who, although they have seen divine miracles, fail to understand. It is only the struggle against drowsiness that enables Peter, James and John to “see” Jesus in his glory. Then the rhythm quickens: while Moses and Elijah take their leave of the Master, Peter speaks and as he speaks a cloud envelops him and the other disciples in its shadow. This cloud, while it covers them, reveals the glory of God, just as happened for the pilgrim people in the desert. Their eyes can no longer see but their ears can hear the voice that comes out of the cloud: “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” (v. 35).

The disciples no longer have before them a transfigured face or dazzling garments or a cloud that reveals the divine presence. They have before them “Jesus… alone” (v. 36). Jesus is alone with his Father while he prays but at the same time, “Jesus… alone” is all that the disciples and the Church of every epoch have been granted; and this must suffice on the journey. The only voice to listen to, the only voice to follow is his, the voice of the One going up to Jerusalem who was one day to give his life to “change our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Phil 3: 21).

“Master, it is well that we are here” (Lk 9: 33) are Peter’s ecstatic words, that often resemble our own desire before the Lord’s consolations. However the Transfiguration reminds us that the joys sown by God in life are not finishing lines; rather they are lights he gives us during our earthly pilgrimage in order that “Jesus alone” may be our Law and his word the criterion that directs our existence.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

MARCH 4, 2007 | Angelus

True Prayer Consists in Uniting Our Will with that of God

To pray is not to evade reality and the responsibilities it brings but rather, to fully assume them.

Jesus listens to the Law and the Prophets who spoke to him about his death and Resurrection. In his intimate dialogue with the Father, he did not depart from history, he did not flee the mission for which he came into the world, although he knew that to attain glory he would have to pass through the Cross.

On the contrary, Christ enters more deeply into this mission, adhering with all his being to the Father’s will; he shows us that true prayer consists precisely in uniting our will with that of God. For a Christian, therefore, to pray is not to evade reality and the responsibilities it brings but rather, to fully assume them, trusting in the faithful and inexhaustible love of the Lord.

For this reason, the verification of the Transfiguration is, paradoxically, the Agony in Gethsemane (cf. Lk 22: 39-46). With his impending Passion, Jesus was to feel mortal anguish and entrust himself to the divine will; his prayer at that moment would become a pledge of salvation for us all.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana
homilies

2nd Sunday of Lent (C)

Pope Saint John Paul II

October 16, 1978 – April 2, 2005

MARCH 7, 2004 | Angelus

The Mystery of Jesus’ Prayer

The interior light that transfigures the human person comes from this trusting abandonment to God…

“Jesus took Peter, John and James, and went up onto a mountain to pray” (Lk 9:28): this is how the Gospel of the Transfiguration of Christ begins, characterizing this Second Sunday of Lent. Luke the Evangelist stresses that Jesus is transfigured on the high mountain while praying, immersed in intimate and profound dialogue with God the Father. A dazzling light radiates from him, a foretaste of the glory of the Resurrection.

Each year in preparation for Easter, Lent invites us to follow Christ in the mystery of his prayer, source of light and strength in time of trial. In reality, to pray means to be spiritually immersed in God, in an attitude of humble cohesion to his will. The interior light that transfigures the human person comes from this trusting abandonment to God, making the person a witness of the Resurrection. However, it is only in listening to Christ, in following him with docility even to the passion and Cross, that this can become a reality. We must look towards him “because there is salvation in no one else but him, the Son of God”.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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