BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.
“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.” (JOHN 14:26)
FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.
- What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?
- From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?
SECOND DAY READ GENESIS 12:1‑4 FIRST READING
(“The call of Abraham, the father of God’s people.”)
- Who was the Lord God talking to in Genesis 12:1?
- Where did the Lord tell him to go? Genesis 12:1
- What four things did the Lord say he would do for Abram? Genesis 12:2‑3
- What will God do to those who bless Abram? Genesis 12:3
Personal ‑ The dictionary defines the word bless as: l. to make holy, hallow, 2. to ask divine favor for, 3. to wish well to, 4. to make happy or prosperous, 5. to guard, preserve. In what way have you felt blest by the Lord? In what way have you made it a practice to bless your spouse, your children, relatives or friends?
- What will God do to those who curse Abram? Genesis 12:3
- Who shall find blessing in Abram? Genesis 12:3
- What did Abram do, and who went with him? Genesis 12:4
- Who was Lot? Genesis 11:31
- How old was Abram when he left Haran, land of his kinsfolk? Genesis 12:4
- What other name was given to Abram by the Lord and what did the Lord make him? Genesis 17:5
Personal ‑ In what way do you recognize the voice of the Lord when he is speaking to you, and do you obey that voice as Abram did? How do you think you can discern whether God is or is not speaking to you? Share with someone.
THIRD DAY READ 2 TIMOTHY 1:8‑10 SECOND READING
(“God has saved us and called us to be holy.”)
- Who is speaking in verse 8 of 2 Timothy 1 and to whom is he speaking? 2 Timothy 1:1‑2
- Of what are we not to be ashamed?
2 Timothy 1:8
1 Peter 4:16
- What will happen if we are ashamed of Jesus and his doctrine? Luke 9:26
- From where does our strength come? 2 Timothy 1:8
- What must we bear? 2 Timothy 1:8
- Who can we take as models in suffering hardship and patience? James 5:10
- What has God done for us, and to what kind of life has he called us? 2 Timothy 1:9
- Have we been saved by anything we have done? 2 Timothy 1:9
- How has God saved us? 2 Timothy 1:9‑10, Titus 3:5
- How did he rob death of its power? 2 Timothy 1:10, Romans 6:9‑10
Personal ‑ What is the testimony to our Lord you have to share? Do you have a personal testimony of how God has worked in your life? Have you shared this with your spouse, children, family, friends, or work acquaintances? Pray and ask God to reveal to you your own personal testimony this week.
FOURTH DAY READ MATTHEW 17:1‑9 GOSPEL
(“His face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes as radiant as light.”)
- Who did Jesus take up on a high mountain and what happened to Jesus? Matthew 17:1-2
- Who suddenly appeared there and what did Peter then say? Matthew 17:3-4
- As Peter was speaking, what overshadowed them and what came out of the cloud? Matthew 17:5
- What prevents us from listening to the Lord?
Personal ‑ In what way have you been able to tune your mind into hearing what God is saying to you through prayer and his Word? Meditate on this.
- How did God the Father address Jesus in Matthew 17:5? Matthew 3:17
- What happened to Peter, James, and John when they heard the voice from the cloud and with what were they overcome? Matthew 17:6
- What did Jesus do and what did he say? Matthew 17:7
- In the following scriptures, what happened to those on whom Jesus laid his hand? Matt 8:3, 14‑15, Matt 9:23‑25
- What does 1 John 4:16‑18 say is the relationship of God, love, and fear?
- What did God say to Abram about fear in Genesis 15:1?
- To whom did Jesus say “Do not be afraid? ” Matthew 28:1, 8‑10, Mark 6:45, 49‑50, Luke 5:10
- When Peter, James and John looked up, whom did they see and as they were coming down the mountain side, what was Jesus’ command to them? Matthew 17:8-9
Personal ‑ In what way have you felt Jesus’ healing touch upon you? Have you laid your hand on those in your family who may be sick? If a friend or a family member is afraid, lay your hand on them and reassure them of God’s presence.
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 33:4‑5, 18‑20, 22
(“For upright is the Word of the Lord.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22.
What is the Lord saying to you personally through out Psalm?
How can you apply this to your life?
SIXTH DAY READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY
It is very significant and quite proper that the passage of Abram should lead us into the second Sunday of Lent. Abram was a pagan living in an idol‑worshipping country. He was about 75 years old and enjoyed a reputation as a successful man of the community. Abram had experienced a personal conversion and was convinced that God alone was the true God. First came the call to Abram and then came the “Great Commission” to “go forth and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
God’s mercy and love for us are the first lesson this call of Abram teaches us. Through Abram God began the preparations that would lead to the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who would reopen heaven’s gates for us. Only a God of love and mercy could have persevered in the face of such a stubborn people. We, too, are to extend God’s love to all nations, not just our own. Through Abram’s family, Jesus was born to save all humanity. Through Jesus all people and all nations can have a personal relationship with God and the blessings will continue even unto today, beyond measure.
God’s promise to make Abram great was tied to a promise of obedience by Abram. This meant leaving the comfort and safety of his home and friends and traveling to a new and strange land. Abram obeyed, walking away from all of his possessions, for God promised him even greater things. We are called, like Abram, to be chosen people.
When we make our conversion, as Abram did, and experience God personally, we will also be called to go forth in his name. God may be trying to lead you to a place of holiness and of greater service to his people. Don’t let the comfort and security of what you have achieved, allow you to miss out on God’s plan. God’s plan for Israel is the same as it is for you and me. Jesus said, “I have come to give you, not just life, but life in its fullness.” (John 10:10).
God planned to develop a nation of people he would call his own. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you and I have the privilege of being called sons and daughters of God. God calls today and we are to listen and respond by accepting him personally, and then to go forth and tell others what we have experienced. This is called evangelizing or witnessing. We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).
2 TIMOTHY 1:8‑10
Paul, in prison writes this letter to Timothy in hopes of encouraging him to persevere in his ministry. There was much persecution going on in the Christian communities, Paul was concerned because of Timothy’s youth and the amount of opposition to him as a leader. Paul was urging him to be bold. Oh, how much boldness is needed by our Christian leaders today.
We see boldness everywhere in secular world leaders and not enough belief in the religious leaders. Paul tells Timothy, what everyone of us should never forget, that suffering will come to those who live out the Gospel message. In fact, Paul was jailed for preaching the Gospel (Hebrews 13:23). Paul promised Timothy that God would give him strength and that he would be ready when it was his turn to suffer.
We too must be ready and we too will be given strength by Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:13). Today, the threat of ridicule, rejection, being politically defeated, and, in some places in the world, being assassinated is the price for standing up for Christ. When we stand up for Christ in spite of the persecution, we are living out the Gospel message of God who loves us, chose us and sent Jesus to die for us. We die for Christ by dying to ourselves and when we call on the power of the Holy Spirit to defend us. We can stand up for Christ and endure peer pressure by walking away from pornography, refusing to go to R‑rated movies, and not buying the videos that portray women as sexual play‑toys.
Persecution is active today in many ways, and we must remember that we do not deserve to be saved, but God offers us salvation anyway. All we have to do is believe and respond with obedience to him. We must never forget that evil will succeed only when righteous people do nothing.
The Transfiguration was a special revelation of Jesus’ divinity to three of his disciples. God affirmed everything that Jesus had done and was about to do in the near future. The presence of Moses and Elijah with Jesus confirmed his mission of salvation. Moses represented the law. He is the central figure in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible), and he predicted the coming of a great Prophet (Deut. 18:15‑19).
Elijah represents the prophets who foretold the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5‑6). Jesus is the fulfillment of both the law and the prophets. God’s voice at the Transfiguration gave authority to Jesus’ words. Peter wanted them all to stay and offered to build a place for all three. He wanted to act, but it was a time to pray and worship.
We must remember that before anything is acted upon, we must first pray and give worship to God. Peter did not realize that Christ was not to be compared to anyone, especially on any mountain top. Today much of the world looks at Jesus Christ as being a good leader, a good influence or a great prophet. The fact is, he is more than that, he is the Son of God. When you understand this incredible truth, the only appropriate response is worship.
We need to know about Christ in order to obey him completely. We must pray, read scripture, study scripture, share scripture and then live the scripture. Jesus told the disciples not to tell what they had seen until after his resurrection. He said this because he knew that they did not fully understand who he was, or what his mission was all about. They knew he was the Messiah, but they had much more to learn about him through his death and resurrection. The disciples were amazed at the radiance of Jesus’ face and they were transfigured themselves.
The incredible reality of who Jesus really was hit them full force. When a person meets Jesus and accepts him personally, a great transfiguration takes place. The amazement and radiance of Jesus is imprinted on the person’s heart. The change or “metonoia” brings about a radiance that glows from within the person. Jesus wants you to be transfigured and he wants your heart to shine like the sun and be dazzling bright, just like his.
The first reading brings the power of God’s love and mercy to those who respond to his promise. The second reading calls on us to bear our burden of hardships and know that Christ will give us the needed strength. The Gospel reading shows that Jesus wants us to be changed and he wants us to give him glory by our response to him.
This week, let us be very sensitive Christians as we relate to our families, jobs, and community. Let us show by example how we can bear up under hardship, for example: being sick and trying to be cheerful, or being tired and trying to respond to another’s needs. Let the change within us be a sign to others that we act out what we say and what we believe. You and your family will be transfigured and others will be drawn to your radiance and they will know that the Holy Spirit dwells within you.