Listen to Him – Sunday Synopsis

Justine John Dyikuk

Justine John Dyikuk

Shikrot Mpwi – Sunday Synopsis with Fr. Justine J. Dyikuk

 

Second Sunday of Lent Year C – March 13, 2022.

Reading: Genesis 15:5-12,17-18; Responsorial Psalm 26:1,7-9,13-14; Philippians 3:17-4:1 & Gospel Luke 9:28-36.

 

The first reading details about the Covenant God established with Abraham. In the second reading, St. Paul warns those he calls the “enemies of the cross of Christ” noting that “they are destined to be lost.” He indicated that our homeland is in heaven where our saviour is waiting to transform our wretched bodies into copies of his glorious body.

The Gospel discloses how Jesus took with him Peter, James and John to Mount Tabor where he was transfigured. Based on the voice that came from the cloud, we are charged to embrace acting listening even as we continue our annual Lenten Observances of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Introduction

Beloved in Christ, the Second Sunday of Lent calls us to reflect on listening to Jesus, the legitimate Son of the Father. Aware that we are living in a distracting world, the Church sets aside this Sunday’s readings to help us reflect on who to listen to.

Amidst contemporary dissenting voices which lure us from paying attention to what is spiritual, our liturgy uses the Lenten period in which we are called to pray, fast and engage in almsgiving, to challenge us on the spiritual value of active listening.

Background & Summary of the Readings

The first reading (Genesis 15:5-12,17-18) details about the Covenant God established with Abraham. It tells how Abram listened to God talk to him about how his descendants will be numerous like the stars of heaven.

We are told that “Abram put his faith in the Lord, who counted this as making him justified.” The Lord assured him that He was the one who brought him out of the land of the Chaldaeans to make him an heir to this land. When he asked how this would come about, the Lord ratified the Covenant between him and Abram by consuming the sacrifice of animals with fire.

In the second reading, (Philippians 3:17-4:1) St. Paul warns those he calls the “enemies of the cross of Christ” noting that “they are destined to be lost.” Cautioning those who take to gluttony by making food their God, he said it is saddening that they are proud of what should be shameful. He, therefore, indicated that our homeland is in heaven where our saviour is waiting to transform our wretched bodies into copies of his glorious body with the power he subdues the entire universe. He urged the Philippian-community to be faithful. He noted that he missed them very much and that they are his joy and crown.

The Gospel reading (Luke 9:28-36) discloses how Jesus took with him Peter, James and John to Mount Tabor where he was transfigured. We are told that as his clothes were dazzlingly white, Moses and Elijah appeared in glory and were talking about his going to Jerusalem to face his passion. As soon as they left, Peter became mesmerised and asked Jesus permission to build three tents – one for Jesus, a second for Moses and the third for Elijah.

The Gospel disclosed that as he spoke, a cloud covered them and the disciples were afraid. Just then, a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.”

After that, Jesus was found alone and the disciples told no one what they saw. Since the Gospel reveals how Jesus listened to Moses and Elijah and the voice of the father, we would highlight the two types of listening there are:

Types of Listening

  1. Active Listening: Active listening entails turning the faculties on to communicate with God in silent or vocal prayer. Active listening enables a sender and a receiver to exchange banters in a mutual communication in such a way that feedback takes place. This kind of listening involves sufficient disposition on the part of sender for effective communication.
  2. Passive Listening: Passive listening is that type of listening which is boring and presents a scenario where a receiver does not pay attention to the sender. When someone you are talking to is not paying attention, passive listening takes place.

In the context of prayer, someone might be physically present before God but his or mind is far away from Him. Whether one is in the Church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament, passive listening leads to lack of spiritual connection between that person and God. This is because this kind of listening is characterized by absent-mindedness.

Pastoral Lessons

  1. Listen to God: In the conversation between God and Abram which we read in the first reading as well as what transpired at the Jordan in the gospel, we are urged to listen to God and his Son Jesus Christ as they enrich our lives.
  • Embrace Contemplative and Active Life: By ratifying the Covenant He made with Abram, through the sacrifice of animals which were consumed by fire, the Lord teaches us the value of both contemplative and active life even as he calls us to pay attention to his summons with concrete action.

  • Reform Your Ways: St. Paul’s warning that those who are the “Enemies of the Cross of Christ are destined to be lost” is a call for us to reform our ways as we follow Jesus in the Stations of the Cross.

  • Take to Doing Good: The reminder that our homeland is in heaven where our Saviour is waiting to transform our wretched bodies into copies of his glorious body with the power which he subdues the entire universe calls us to put our minds and hearts in doing good and taking to spiritual interests.

  • Be Open to the Spirit: That Jesus’ clothes became dazzlingly white on Mount Tabor during the transfiguration reveals the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our daily lives.

  • Summary Lines

    1. The first reading details about the Covenant God established with Abraham.
  • In the second reading, St. Paul warns those he calls the “enemies of the cross of Christ” noting that “they are destined to be lost.”

  • He – indicated that our homeland is in heaven where our saviour is waiting to transform our wretched bodies into copies of his glorious body.

  • The Gospel reading discloses how Jesus took with him Peter, James and John to Mount Tabor where he was transfigured.

  • A voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.”

  • Conclusion

    We live in a society where we are often distracted from actively listening to the voice of God by the sins of the world, worldly attractions like music, movies, internet and vain glory. It is in this kind of world that we are challenged during Lent to emulate Abraham by entering into a covenantal relationship with God which entails sufficient disposition to the will of God in our lives through listening to his summons.

    As the legitimate Son endorsed by the Father, Jesus assures that listening to him actively is the key to our personal and social malaise. May the Season of Lent help us to listen to God through the poor whom we are called to serve. Amen. Have a blessed week!

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    Publisher

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