Readings: Genesis 12:1-4, Psalm 33:4-5,18-19,20&22, 2Timothy 1:8-10, Mathew 17:1-9

Lent: the walk towards the transfiguration, the journey to glory

The word transfiguration which is the keyword that describes the major event in today’s gospel simply means a change or transformation. Something changes in the figure/appearance of Jesus, in his aspect, what he looked like in front of the disciples. God is the protagonist of this event, and Jesus Christ his son is at the center of being revealed to the disciples.

Read more: Second Sunday of Lent, Year A

Readings: Genesis 2:7-9,3:1-7, Psalm 52:3-4,5-6,12-14&17, Romans 5:12-19, Mathew 4:1-11

Lent: Fighting against evil and its temptations

On the very first Sunday of lent, the first reading narrates to us the reality of sin, and how it entered the world. It is sin whose bonds we are called upon to break in the Lenten period by repenting and believing in the gospel. We are called upon to have concern in repairing a broken relationship and be united with the Lord's heart and soul. A lot of things continue to entice and seduce human hearts. Not all of them are holy. Some of these cravings tear us apart and put us in a quagmire, in a state of confusion. In brief, these passions tempt us and if not well tackled can be the source of evil.

Read more: 1st Sunday of Lent, Year A

Readings: Sirach 15:15-20, Psalm 119:1-2,4-5,17-18,33-34, 1 Corinthians 2:6-10, Mathew 5:17-37

Jesus Christ the fulfilment of the law.

A society without rules and regulations is chaotic, it's style of life is like of the jungle, survival for the fittest. It eliminates the weak without giving them possibilities to live, so affirmed Jean Jacque Rousseau a philosopher. The law puts a boundary, protects and upholds each of the members of a society from possible threats to its life and being. The Lord also gives us his laws and precepts which are meant to guide us to live in the fulness of life and harmony with him and with each other.

Read more: 6th Sunday in ordinary time, year A 2023

Leviticus 19:1-2.17-18, Psalm 103:1-2,3-4, 8&10, 12-13, 1Corinthians 3:16-23, Mathew 5:38-48

Seek holiness, seek perfection

The qualities of holiness and perfection are part of those that we give to God. God is holy. God is perfect. Yet we hear in quiet a strong way the invitation in today’s readings to exude these aspects in our life as Christ’s followers. We are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27) and so we can actually imitate the holiness and perfection of God in our ways. The first reading from the book of Leviticus, one of the five books of the Pentateuch goes on to categorically define the kind of holiness we are called to imitate. It does this by highlighting what we need to harbor in our hearts and what we need to discard. Our hearts must be filled with love, not hatred in order to be holy. We must avoid sin in order to be holy. We must reprove and correct others, we must not have room for vengeance, we must not have grudges in order to be holy. We must love our neighbors in order to be holy. So, the kind of holiness defined here is one of spotlessness, of fighting and resisting evil, of persevering in doing good. These are aspects that define God as loving but also that contribute to our holiness as human beings. But how does one remain spotless without sin? “If someone says that he is without sin he deceives himself”, affirms the first letter of John (1John 1:8). So actually, our concept of holiness is then not absence of sin but the commitment to fight against sin and its temptations. Thus, the constant renewal that we get from the sacrament of reconciliation contributes tremendously to our growth in holiness.

You are the temple of God

In the second reading, St Paul gives us an affirmation of the presence of God in us. Each person is a temple of God, a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16-23). Meaning that God lives in us through the Holy Spirit. This even renders clearer the kind of holiness we are to imitate. In the Jewish tradition the temple was indeed the presence of God, the place where God dwells and in which sacrifices were offered.  The temple is a holy place, not profaned or contaminated by evil. Paul makes the similar comparison and equates also the body of a person to the temple of God because of the presence of the Holy Spirit. This is just another affirmation that we are created to be holy. Paul as well discourages attitudes of self-illusion that may tend to degrade the dignity of a person as a temple of God. He also states that what is considered human wisdom is actually folly in the eyes of God. This gives no reason to human boasting since all belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God. In short, we belong to God.

Again, holiness in the way Paul explains is about the awareness that God is in us and we are in God, we are one with him. If then God is in us, we need to conduct ourselves in ways that are worthy of the dwelling place of God. We must get rid of the evil which profanes and contaminates our hearts where God dwells. What we harbor within us contributes to our holiness and determines how close we are to the resemblance of God. Most of the saints in the Church recognized their weakness their sins and that became for many of them the beginning of their conversion. The more we grow in holiness, the more we realize our need for the sacrament of reconciliation which offers us constant renewal and desire for conversion.

Love, and compassion without vengeance are equal to perfection

From the gospel we are reminded to make sacrifices for one another. We are not to be vengeful paying evil with evil but to conquer evil with good. Our lives must be filled with love and compassion for one another. This is another invitation to holiness in the imitation of Christ the son of God who is God’s own manifestation of himself to humanity. It is not proper to love only those who love us. love and loving as ways of living in holiness and perfection require that we do not put limits, confinements or boundaries to our capacity to love. Love must be open to all not only to those we are indebted but to everyone including our enemies. This is truly a call to perfection. Loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us is a call to radicality rooted in the example of Christ. It is hard to do, yet it is possible. It is what makes authenticates our living as Christians. Love others, forgive others, even those we often judge to be undeserving of our love. Jesus tells as that it is by doing this that we become children of God, we enter into a relationship with him. And since we become children of God, then we share in his nature of holiness and perfection, though we fall shall with sin, our commitment to return to the initial state of grace reconnects us to the holy and perfect God.  God loves us all, he makes his rain fall on the righteous and the wicked without distinction.  By imitating that kind of love and indiscriminative behaviors we can truly be holy and perfect. Take courage dear friends. Be kind to one another, resist sin, remember that God dwells in you, love your neighbor as you love yourself. With these we shall imitate God in holiness and perfection.

Readings: Isaiah 58:7-10 Psalm 112:4-5,6-7,8-9 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Mathew 5:13-16

Disciples: the light and the salt of the world

Salt and light are very essential to our senses of taste and sight. Without salt even food that looks delicious to the eyes is tasteless. Without light the eyes are useless, they cannot see. So these two realities play a vital role in our capacity to distinguish tastes and the sights that we perceive. This is what we as disciples of Christ, salt and light to the world. By following Christ, we are already a reflection of this no wonder he says you are the light, you are the salt.

Read more: Fifth Sunday in ordinary time, year A

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