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13 March Second Sunday of Lent. Gen 15:5-12,17-18/Ps 27:1,7-8,8-9,13-14/Phil 3:17-4:1/Luke 9:28b-36

Theme: The Lord takes us to prayer.

We are presented with the image and symbol of God's presence; the mountain and the cloud. The Mountain represents God's presence where the Israelites encountered the Lord during the exodus and desert wandering and thereafter.

On the Mountain, Abraham had the near-sacrifice of Isaac(Gen 22), the Israelites encountered the Lord through theophanic experiences, Decalogue was given(Exod 19-20), Moses encountered God and his face was changed(Exod 34:27-35), Elijah also encountered God on the Mountain(1Kings 17, 19).

The psalmist prays to corroborate this belief that the mountain is a symbol of God's presence when he says " I will lift my eyes to the mountains from when my help shall come from. My help shall come from the Lord who made heaven and earth"(Ps 121:1-2).

This is why, the Temple was built on a mountain. This is the reason behind the Church's praxis of building Churches on mountains or hilltops. Mountain is simply the presence of God.

Today, the gospel pericope presents to us a theophanic symbol of cloud. Pursuant to the theophanic presence, a celestial voice was heard"This is my chosen Son; listen to him."(Luke 9:37). We are called to listen to the voice of the Lord. This listening must lead us to obey. Abram did not only listen. He also trustfully obeyed and this obediential faith was credited or reckoned to him as righteousness.

God took Abram for an encounter and to show him the evidential proof of the promises made to him. Jesus also took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. Let us avail ourselves like these people to be taken up for prayer.

Peter, John, and James fell in the arms of morpheus as they went to pray. This only shows our human weakness and frailties. In fact, we do not know how to pray. It is the Holy Spirit who prays within, for and with us (Roms 8:26). Let us always avail ourselves for the Holy Spirit to lead us to pray.

Let us know that we are celestial beings and therefore let us always commune with our heavenly Father in prayer.

Let us remember that in prayer, we encounter the Lord and his glorious nature. We are consumed by the theophanic presence of the cloud in prayer.

We are called to silence. Let us as much as possible have quiet time with the Lord to listen to his voice. Our obedience is fruitlessly futile if we fail to listen to the Lord Jesus.

We pray for the grace to listen to the Lord in prayer. May He bless and keep us all.

We pray for God's strength for the clergy and the religious. God loves you precious one.

Have a blessed Sunday.

+Padre Petros Paulos+

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