Scripture Reflection. . .
Second Sunday of Lent
First Reading: Genesis 15:5-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27 “The Lord is my light and my salvation.”
Second Reading: Philippians 3:17-4:1)
Gospel: Luke 9:28-36
Today we hear the retelling of the Transfiguration, an event preceding Jesus journey to Jerusalem and his persecution. On the mountaintop while in prayer, Jesus encounters Moses and Elijah. There is rich symbolism here, yet our focus is immediately drawn to the voice of God speaking to Peter, John, James, and to us, the profoundly simple words, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
In the First Reading, Abram and God are conversing. Abram questions God’s promise but in turn he listens to God’s directives.
God only asks that we listen.
I don’t know about you but I find listening to be very difficult. When I try to quiet myself to listen my mind becomes active with a myriad of thoughts. Sometimes it is like a room filled with conversations. Perhaps this was the case for the Apostles as they talked among themselves, trying to understand Jesus and their role in following him. Into their searching and confusion, God seeks to strengthen their faith and confirms that Jesus is his chosen Son.
In my desire to listen in prayer, I often need to return to the very One I’m listening to. I am listening to someone not some concept. Keeping our focus on Jesus helps to keep us attentive just as we listen better to a friend, relative, co-worker, etc. when we focus on them and not all the thoughts running through our heads.
Lent provides a time to practice the art of listening. As we journey with Jesus to Jerusalem we need to take time as he did to go to quiet places to pray, to keep our focus on the One who knows and loves us fully, and to listen to Jesus who is our light and salvation (Psalm 27).
In Our Lives as Sisters of the Redeemer . . .
We gathered with our Redeemer Associates for a mini Lenten Retreat with a Sister of Mercy. This was an evening to open our heart to listen what it means to have a pure heart.
The week ended in celebration as we participated in a fundraiser for our ministry that provides essential support for women and children experiencing homelessness. We listened to the stories of benefactors and recipients. We heard Gods love intertwined in all of it.
We listened to the rhythm of the earth and with the dawning of Spring we have returned to the garden to begin planting with community gardeners and the children from a local school.
In Your Life . . .
The season of Lent invites us to take time for prayer and today’s scripture readings remind us to listen. We invite you into a contemplative style of prayer in which the mind is stilled and the heart opened to receive. If this is a new practice for you, start with five minutes at the time of day in which you are most alert.
1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.
2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
3. When engaged with your thoughts*, return ever-so gently to the sacred word.
4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.
* Thoughts include body sensations, feelings, images, and reflections
Blessings on your week!