Now Is The Time: Franciscan On-line Lenten Retreat

by Sister Julie Ann on February 15, 2010

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franciscan-sister-anne-marie-directs-lenten-retreat.jpgWelcome to Franciscanized World’s first Lenten On-Line Retreat. We, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, invite you not only to be inspired by the seasonal Sunday Scriptural readings, the sharings of Sister Anne Marie Lom, OSF and Father Paul Gallagher, OFM, but to be visually introduced to dedicated people of St. Raphael, Oshkosh, St. Mary, Omro and St. Mary, Winneconnie Catholic Communities of Faith.

franciscan-sister-pam-points-to-time-for-retreat.jpgOf course, ‘Now is the Time’ welcomes comments to ensure this retreat is relevant and lived.  Please find the Second Sunday of Lent’s Gospel and commentary in the comment section. Sister Anne Marie introduces the new week of reflection material.

First Sunday of Lent: February 21, 2010 (Luke 4:1-13)

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert, for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.”‘ Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me. ” Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.”‘ Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from her, for it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and : ‘With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”‘ Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God to the test.”‘ When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.

Background

Luke ends his description of the Baptism of Jesus with a voice of God proclaiming: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22) People of Jesus’ culture would assume that such statement would have been heard throughout the spirit world. They believed that numerous evil spirits roamed about creating as much havoc as possible on human beings. The first verses of the Book of Job, a dialogue between Satan and God, illustrates the thinking of the ancient peoples regarding the role of evil spirits in their world.

 “One day, when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “Whence do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming the earth and patrolling it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job, and that there is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?” But Satan answered the Lord and said, “Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing? Have you not surrounded him and his family and all that he has with your protection? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock are spread over the land. But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has, and surely he will blaspheme you to your face.” (Job 1:6-11)

These ancient people would expect that the evil spirits would respond to God’s statement of confidence and delight in Jesus, as a challenge, to see if it’s true. Secondly, if the evil spirits convince Jesus to do something that would cause him to forfeit his favor with God, the spirits would be victorious. 

Because people believed that numerous evil spirits roamed the earth looking for people to torment, temptations are understood to be an expected part of normal life. Each of the temptations can be seen as an attempt, on Satan’s part, to use a form of power, personal, social and religious, in a way that would align him with certain groups of people. Rejecting the use of power aligns Jesus with other groups of people. Luke is setting the stage for the rest of Jesus’ ministry through the choices Jesus makes. Luke also has made some changes in his presentation of Jesus being tempted. Both Matthew and Mark end their presentation with the angels coming and waiting on Jesus. Instead, Luke ends his description suggesting the tempter will leave for now but will look for another opportunity to return. That opportunity will come at the crucifixion. Also within Luke’s description of the temptations, the final one is directly tied to Jerusalem. Luke is laying the groundwork for the reader to notice the events that will take place at the close of his gospel.  

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

1.       With what temptations are you faced at this time in your life?

  • Which ones are you making progress in resisting?
  • Which are more difficult?

2.       Do you know people who have dealt with temptation in their life in ways that you admire?

  • How were they tempted?
  • How did they deal with their temptation?
  • What insight can you get from them for your own life?

3.       Do you find it difficult to believe that Jesus had to deal with temptation just like you?

  • Do you think he had some kind of spiritual help that made it easier for him?
  • In what sense do you believe that Jesus was truly human?

4.       Why do you think God would lead Jesus into the desert to be tempted?

  • What is happening within Jesus as he deals with the temptations that Satan is presenting to him?

5.       What happens within you during periods of temptation that does not happen in periods of spiritual tranquility?

  • Do you ever think that God would like to lead you into the desert to struggle? 
  • Do you resist and seek to avoid the struggles?

6.       Why do you think we begin every Lent with a gospel reading that focuses on Jesus being tempted?

  • By this choice of gospel at the beginning of Lent, to what reflection are we being invited?
  • How might your reflection help you to use this period of Lent?

7.       When you reflect on your life and the choices you have made, with which groups of people do your choices align?

  • Have you ever thought of Jesus as making deliberate choices to be aligned with the powerless?
  • How is personal, political and religious power part of your personal life?
  • Have you ever been tempted to use evil means in order to maintain or get personal, political or religious power?

8.       What things/people have helped you deal with your temptations?

  • Are there things you could change in your life that would help you deal with your temptations?
  • Are there people you need to avoid or relate to who could help you in some way?

 Gospel Reflection Questions
Written by Paul Gallagher, OFM
Edited by Sister Anne Marie Lom, OSF
Gospel Reflections are distributed free of charge to your email address if you so choose.
To receive them, contact annemarie.lom@gmail.com

If copied, please include this information.

44 thoughts on “Now Is The Time: Franciscan On-line Lenten Retreat”

  1. Kara Martin says:

    I enjoyed this reflection. Thanks for posting it!

  2. Welcome to our Lenten On-line Retreat. My hope is that you will read, learn, reflect and share those insights that the Holy Spirit places in your heart regarding the coming Sunday’s Gospel. “Now is the time” is Ash Wednesday’s scriptural call to our Lenten journey. I look forward to many companions on this 40 day “expedition” of grace.

  3. mom of boys says:

    Question 5: What happens whithin you during temptation that does not happen in spiritual tranquility. I believe that my temptation comes at times when I am not reflective, peaceful, or calm. When the stresses of every day life happen that is when I am most tempted. It is difficult to maintain focus when it feels as though life is chaotic. I hope to use these 40 days of Lent to bring clarity to my life.

  4. Gretchen says:

    hmpf. I’m tempted right now to go get a cup of coffee and squirm away from having to face this question! Unfortunately I believe that distractions like that are only one of the dangerous temptations we face in this busy world of ours. I believe that being too B-U-S-Y is being “B”urdened “U”nder “S”atan’s “Y”oke.

    Temptations are all around us and I believe that we have been given the beautiful illustrations we have in the bible, to learn to work through them. No matter how difficult. It seems to me that as I’ve passed “successfully” through certain things, I’m given other opportunities to do the same – to continue that growth. Many people wouldn’t consider these things as gifts, but I look at them as lessons for spiritual growth.

    Whew! I stopped, I breathed, I thought, I typed, and now I am going to go get my coffee.

    Success for now. . .

  5. Fr. Paul says:

    I am struck today by my belief that God knew when he spoke those word to Jesus that the spirit world would respond. God also knows that I too will be temped over and over again. Some how that is what God intends for me too. To often I pray to have temptation removed. I suspect that prayer may be as futile as Jesus’ prayer in the garden to have the cup removed. I suspect Lent is about going into the desert vulnerable and alone. Ready or not the invitation to desert begins when my head mark is with the ashes.

  6. Sean Pendell says:

    Today, being Ash Wednesday, we reflect in prayer that we are sinners (turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel) and we will die (remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return). Our Lord was tempted and did not sin. He died but arose. These ashes signify hope and joy. That we are forgiven of our past sins. That we are dead to the world, but alive in Christ.
    I don’t know where my life will go or what will happen here. I do know, with His help, that I’m on the right path.

    We tend to gloss over His early life (mostly because there is little known), but He had to learn to walk before He walked into the desert. We also must spiritually learn to walk first with His guidance before we go to the next step. That’s how we grow.

    May God bless and keep all of you.

  7. Lois A. Rizzo says:

    i have always felt that Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of our Lenten Journey is one of the most sacred of all days in the liturgical calendar. Although it is not a Holy Day of Obigation, it the day that we stop and relect and decide what we will do to make these next 40 days a special time of persoanl sacrifice and service. From this day we will asked the Holy Spirit to guide us in making a good Lenten Journey. Turning away from our sins( both little ones and big ones), and each week tracing the tracks of Jesus from his persecution, scourging at the pillar,crowning of thornes, carrying of the cross, and finally his crucifixtion, until the day when he dies and comes again in Glory.

  8. Kathy Hoppe says:

    I am so glad to be starting my lenten journey with this great reflection. I plan on using this lenten season to grow even closer to God and to strengthen my Faith. Also to clarify what is most important to me in my life!

  9. Wow. What a great website! I’ve grown so much just stopping here.

  10. Tracy Kollock says:

    What a wonderful opportunity to PREPARE for mass on Sunday – seems I find the time to prepare for everything else – this will help me prepare for what is REALLY important.

    Thank you!

  11. It is the end of our first day and I am so grateful for the sharing and the insights. The Holy Spirit was very busy today.

    Regarding question #1: a temptation I have difficulty resisting is the temptation to not trust that what is inspired by prayer and placed before others will be fruitful. It is tempting to stand back and watch, to shy away from risk, to hope “someone” promotes goodness, spiritual growth, and transparency. I resisted that temptation by initiating this on-line retreat and it is already bearing fruit. Now, to remember this when I am re-tempted to complacency. Tomorrow is a new day!

  12. Jan says:

    I am faced with the temptation at times to give up on believing that God Does forgive my sins. I’ll keep praying for strength and perseverance for the journey. It seems I keep asking the Lord to forgive sins I confessed years ago. And then I’m asking for forgiveness because of my lack of faith. Thanks for letting me share.

  13. Jan,
    You bring up a situation that is common to many people: asking for forgiveness over and over. God forgives completely; there is no need to go over a failing or sin repeatedly. When people are tempted to do this, I ask them to replace that thought with a scripture passage such as, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” That may help. When we find ourselves in any unwanted thought or behavior, stopping immediately, upon becoming aware, and singing a comforting hymn to ourselves or repeating a favorite scripture passage is not only helpful but a reassurance of God’s continual love and great desire for our happiness and peace.

    Thank you for sharing this very common issue.

    May everyone following our Lenten retreat have a heightened awareness of this weekend’s Gospel.

  14. Sue Rogers says:

    This time I caved into my “temptation” or should I say “curiousity” and visited this site. What a wonderful learning experience I have had. We are blessed with all the beautiful examples of Jesus’ perseverance during those 40 days in the desert. The love and devotion to his almighty father is exemplified by his actions to follow God’s will. These lessons assist all of his humble servents (us) in making good choices, resisting situations that are tempting, and carrying out God’s message in the simple things we do for one another.

  15. Kris Walch says:

    Thank you so very much Sister Anne Marie! Where do I even begin mentioning to everyone all of the awesome/sincere insight and blessings Sister Anne Marie has introduced me to do since I began meeting with her on a one to one basis in Oshkosh. I am relatively “new” to the Oshkosh, WI area. A native of Green Bay, WI, but then moved to CA in 1977 and now am back “home” so to speak, after 30+ years on the West Coast. Wow!…what a transition, happy and yet sad but knowing I did make an absolute correct decision to move back here for various reasons, #1 reason, to assist my elderly father with his recent Heart Bypass and many other health related issues he is experiencing now. Loving our family, supporting them, assisting them when in times of need, etc., to me is by far the #1 most important things to do with ones self. Love your parents, love your family memebers unconditionally, even if it costs you to give up some very important things in one’s life. After all, we are born on this earth to live and learn and love one another! Nothing else matters to me like loving each other with quirks included, for NO ONE on this Earth is perfect in so? It’s wonderful to experience every individual for all that they have to offer to others, to experience a person’s unique qualities, good and bad, for in that, we are always learning, but yet still Loving one another. THANK YOU SO MUCH Sister Anne Marie for your Friendship, your Guidance, your wonderful Insights to so many different areas in one’s life! You are so very special to me, and such a special person, G-O-D, has truly blessed me with now being part of this website of fantastic information, etc., and blessed me with now feeling more a “part of” this Community. I look forward to our visit once again in the near future, and again THANK YOU< THANK YOU ! with Love and Blessings to you ALWAYS ! Love Kris !

  16. As I have been watching the news, and Tiger Woods’ apology for “giving into temptations”, I couldn’t help but relate it to this Gospel. None of us knows how Tiger will resist temptation in the future but we can clearly see that he is struggling and coming to some insights.

    Father Paul mentions, and I agree, that we often pray for temptation to be removed rather than pray for strength to deal with the temptation. The Gospel shows us how Jesus was tempted with wealth, power and security as we often are. There’s nothing “wrong” with those, they just seem to offer more than they can deliver. Only Jesus delivers fully.

  17. Annette says:

    Thank you for the invite to the Online Lenten Retreat. I am looking forward to more of these to keep me moving forward in my faith.

  18. I notice more people are sharing their insights and appreciations. Thanks to all who are following the retreat and those who are posting. Special thanks to Matthew Livingstone, technology coordinator for St. Raphael Parish, Oshkosh. During the announcements at the end of Mass, while the congregation is being invited to blog, Matthew is giving a demonstration from the sound room on how to access this blog through the St. Raphael website. Special thanks to Vinal Van Benthem who was promoting this blog during the announcements. These staff members are helping to “get the word” (Word) out.

    We see in this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus discerning what his real role is; does it involve “crowd approval” or “inner renewal”? May you come to deeper inner renewal by pondering the Word.

  19. D.A. Lynch says:

    I am currently reading a book by Katrina J.Zeno called When Life Doesn’t Go Your Way and I just finished a chapter that says, when life doesn’t go your way, change the script. When I read the meditation, questions and blogs, it occurred to me that Lent is about changing our script. With me, food is a huge issue, and I need to find a way to change the script in dealing with cravings etc.

  20. daughter says:

    I am constantly tempted to forget my true unique and authentic self. I tend to think either too poorly of myself or too highly of myself. When I lose that inner connection, I also tend to think others think too poorly or too highly of myself as well. I get wrapped up in being so SURE people think I’m the greatest at what I do and who I am, or being so SURE people don’t like me, or won’t forgive me, or won’t ever give me the time of day again. I forget that people, events, things, emotions, feelings, experiences, etc. are what they are and that they are okay. When I do however rest in that true self, I feel united and able to then uplift where needed. I am who I am….a daughter of God…..hmmm….kinda like Jesus…..maybe he too was tempted to be what other people thought he should be or wanted him to be…perhaps his time in the desert was to reconfirm and connect him to who he truly was…the son of God.

  21. Sr. Delores Wisnicky says:

    The questions that follow this Sunday’s gospel are energy filled. One thing I am tempted at times, is not to believe in my goodness. God made us wonderfully and yet I struggle—did I do enough? Did I love enough? Did I serve well?
    I believe the Lord wants us to focus on Him and He is enough in us. I will not be enough and it doesn’t matter. God is enough for us both. So I am good and God fills in my slack.
    I’ve been walking outside alot and it seems the Lord fills me up.
    Thanks, Sr. Anne Marie and Fr. Paul…

  22. This Sunday evening we close our Gospel reflections on the first Sunday of Lent. As I reread all the reflections I see many comments on being oneself. That is exactly what Jesus had to do; be himself; not what others thought he should be. Who would have thought that God “would come to us this way”… so ordinary… so respectful… so humbly?

    One person emailed me and gave me permission to add her comment to my reflections. She said, “ I had to laugh because #5 is the focus I took as well. People are into themselves:) It is good to know that there are others out there like me. I spend an awful lot of energy trying to avoid going through necessary struggles but the energy could be better used going through it (the struggle) because I will have to go through it eventually. Complacency is hard to maintain:) but not as fun or satisfying as taking a risk.”

    Thanks to all who took the risk of sharing so honestly and openly. The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent will be posted soon and I look forward to your insights.

  23. I hope our readers will join once again to ponder and post regarding this Second Sunday of Lent:

    Sunday February 28, 2010
    Second Sunday of Lent
    Luke 9:28b-36

    [Jesus] took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. 29. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. 30. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.

    32. Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33. As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying. 34. While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. 35. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” 36. After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.

    BACKGROUND:
    Luke places his account of the Transfiguration after Jesus’ first prediction of his future rejection by the elders, scribes and chief priests. (Luke 9:22) After this prediction, Jesus tells the disciples “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me…” (Luke 9:23) Luke states that, about eight days after Jesus gave this teaching, he took Peter, John and James up the mountain where the transfiguration takes place.

    The actual transfiguration takes place while the disciples are “overcome by sleep.” It is important for Luke to mention that Jesus has gone up a mountain to pray, something not mentioned in either Matthew (Matthew 17:1-8) or Mark (Mark 9:2-8). Both Moses and Elijah had encountered God on the mountains. The encounter is both internal, in that Jesus’ face is changed, and external, in that his clothing also is affected. Moses represents the Law and Elijah the prophetic tradition. Together they represent the fullness of the Jewish religious tradition. The three discuss Jesus’ exodus, “going out from,” Jerusalem. Jesus will leave Jerusalem for his death, resurrection and ascension. In a few verses, Luke will make it clear that Jesus has made Jerusalem his intended destination. “When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem and he sent messengers ahead of him.” (Luke 9:51) The sense that Jesus’ death was an unavoidable tragedy does not fit with deliberateness with which Jesus discusses the events with Moses and Elijah and his later determination to go to Jerusalem.

    The disciples are described as Peter, James and John (v. 28b) as they go up the mountain with Jesus. But, after the transfiguration, they are described as Peter and his companions (v. 32) suggesting a change in relationship, perhaps, because of the role Peter plays. Upon waking, Peter calls Jesus “Master” a term of address usually reserved to Jesus’ followers. Peter’s suggestion that he build three tents indicates that he believes what is taking place is as significant as when God gave Moses the law on Sinai. The Jews commemorate this important event at the Feast of Booth/Tents. Something even greater is happening here. The voice of God comes out of the hidden cloud to bring clarity. Jesus is not like Moses and Elijah, who brought the people a “God revelation”; Jesus is the revelation. The voice of God not only affirms what Jesus teaches but the person of Jesus himself. “This is my chosen Son, listen to him.” (v. 35)

    REFLECTION QUESTIONS
    1. What do you think was going through the minds of the disciples during the eight days after Jesus’ prediction of his own rejection and death and telling them that they, too, must be willing to take up their cross if they are going to be his follower?
    2. When you hear Peter tell Jesus “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah,” what do think is motivating that kind of statement?
    3. Why do you think Luke presents the transfiguration at this point in the gospel?
    · Why does the Church give us this gospel in the second Sunday of Lent?
    · What does that say about how the Church looks upon the Lenten Season?
    · Does that fit how you are making use of this season?
    4. When you get tired of studying, working, parenting, staying true to your commitments etc. what is it that keeps you going?
    5. Recall a time in your life when you felt closest to God?
    · How did the event unfold?
    · What kind of emotions were going through you as the event unfolded?
    · Why do you think that event was given to you?
    · What impact did that event have on you?
    6. Are there times when you noticed a significant shift or change had taken place within you?
    · Did the change start with some external (observable) change in you or your behavior or was it more of an internal change of heart or desire?
    · Do changes that you seek to make happen differently than those that God seems to be working within you?
    · Do you experience a change within you taking place over time or all at once?
    · What does this tell you about your spiritual journey?

  24. Izzy says:

    I loved this reflection. Lent is a ‘path’: a path starting from the darkness and that to light. Time to reconnect, pray, change to the better, and reinvent a little more. Time for letting Jesus into your heart! Moving into the horizon of endevour Love! For this time of Lent it is great to have a prayer buddy, someone who we can share how our prayer time was and inspire to get closer to Jesus, during this time of reflection.

  25. Sister Caritas says:

    I’m a late comer but I have one reflection to add (better late than never)! Matthew says Jesus was led out into the desert “to be tempted” whereas Mark says he was led out into the desert by the Spirit “where” he was tempted. I don’t think The Father led Jesus out to be tempted. I think he brought him out into the desert to find strength, courage, wisdom, faith for whatever was going to happen. To find our inner selves and let God touch us with His life, we need to go “out into the desert”…a place where nothing else exists except our reliance on God. Where there are no distractions, no cell phones, no computers, just nothing but me and God. In our constantly busy lives, God can barely find us at times…so He leads us to the desert. And when we are ready to come back out…temptations challenge all that we have just been given the courage to do. We all need “desert days” in our lives. Taht’s what Lent’s about…returnign to the desert…and finding God.

  26. Thanks to Izzy and Sister Caritas for sharing with us today. Your perspectives, unique and helpful were inspirations to me and to others following our retreat.

    At the close of this Monday of the second week of Lent, I’d like to explore this question from the above list: Do changes that you seek to make happen differently than those that God seems to be working within you?

    The changes I seek to make are often based on what I consider good, necessary, essential. The changes God works in me usually take me by surprise, are often not very efficient or significant (in my eyes) and usually have lasting and positive results. No wonder the Transfiguration was puzzling to the three disciples. It was different than what they expected!

    What’s “transfiguring” in your experiences?

  27. daughter says:

    Caritas, I liked your reflection. Thanks.

    I knew our time was short, but as we laid together enjoying some time of intimacy, I remember turning to him and saying, “I don’t want you to go….When you leave, the real world will begin again.” I was in a moment of complete revelation of honest joy, peace, trust, love, relationship and beauty. I was on sacred ground with a sacred friend and I didn’t want the energy to shift; I didn’t want the fullness of the experience to end. It was a transfiguration of sorts and I wanted to build my tent on that mountain of revelation for as long as I could. However, there were duties and obligations, so we walked down that mountain and yes, the real world began again. But we experienced. We experienced a divine moment….a moment that we will look forward to again; a moment that will help us through the passing days; a moment that we know exists, and will exist again… and perhaps…just perhaps, that shall be an Easter.

  28. Gardener says:

    I’m a new comer to this “Lenten Journey.” Thanks for making me take time to think. I’m looking forward to further insight from you and everyone else. Thanks.

  29. Colleen says:

    Thank you for this wonderful service.

  30. Lois A. Rizzo says:

    THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT February 21, 2010 I would like to leave a brief commnet about Question # 1. What temptations are you faced with in this time in your life?

    I am tempted to attend non-denominational Christian prayer meetings. I am a devoted practicing Catholic , but many of my good friends are born again Christians. I am in a contant struggle to keep my faith strictly Catholic. Most Catholic Churches will engage in some kind of Lenten Ecumenical Service to join other Christians. I am not certain the limits or boundaries that the Christian Catholic would encounter with too many of this type meeting.

    My second struggle is with a food addiction that I have been struggling with for many years. I often eat too much and often consume too much of the most unhealthy foods. There are times when I eat so much that I force myself to throw up. Regulating my Food intake has become very distructive to my body. During this Lenten Journey I am praying to the HOly Spirit to help me and give me the necessary self-discipline needed which will result in healthy eating habits for my total well-being.

    Another temptation that I continue to struggle with is to keep my thoughts of other pure. Iam often critical and negatives of others. I often engage in gossip that hurts other people. I am praying to the Holy Spirit to let me love even the most undesirable person during this Holy Lenten Season. I am also praying to the Holy spirit to help me love my neighbors, especially those that I know intentionally dislike me for any reason.

  31. Thanks to those who posted some very personal experiences of struggles and transfiguration experiences. I also find it delightful that some of you are commenting on others’ comments. This makes for real dialogue among readers, which is the gift of the blog.

    Lois, I would be happy to comment on your blog in a less public forum. If you’d like to email me:
    annemarie.lom@gmail.com
    I would email you some more lengthy comments than what would be beneficial in the blog arena.

    As we close this Tuesday of the second week of Lent, I’d like to comment on this question:

    Why does the Church give us this gospel in the second Sunday of Lent?

    I’m wondering of the Church gives us this gospel in the second Sunday of Lent to encourage us. We get a glimpse of Jesus’ glory and a glimpse of where we are headed. In our struggles, especially with temptations (see first week of Lent), we may need to see some “light” and the possibility of the transfiguration of ourselves day by day. We can rest in the fact that, in the presence of Jesus, all is well. We need not fear, worry, or guess about our place. We stand, like Jesus did in the Jordan and on the Mountain of the Transfiguration, and hear God proclaim, “This is my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased.”

  32. Lois A. Rizzo says:

    Thank you, Sister, you have given us such a beautiful answer as to WHY The Church gives us this Gospel in the Second Sunday of Lent.It is so that we may be encouraged , through our great desire for holiness, to know that we, too, can be transformed through our most difficult struggles.
    Thank you, also, Sister, for inviting me to use your e-mail address for a more personal reponse to my struggles at the beginning of this Lenten journey.

  33. Fr. Paul says:

    I have been thinking about how the disciples are portrayed here. On one occasion Luke tells us “they were overcome with sleep”. On another that Peter “…did not know what he was saying.” They are being portrayed as not comprehending what God was doing in their lives right in front of their eyes. I suspect they also did not understand what Jesus was saying when he predicted his death and resurrection. I believe that God is working in my life in ways that I do not understand and beyond me awareness. I suspect that I am no more aware than the disciples to God’s presence and action than the disciples. Therefor I can relax when I do not seem to get or give up the frustration that I do not see the hand of God working in my life. But I also need to give up the judging I do about were God is or is not working in the lives of others and even the presumption that I have a right to be upset when I do not see evidence of God’s presence in my life, the church or the world.

  34. Lois A. Rizzo says:

    Just as the disciples were overcome with sleep and Peter did not understand, all of us have had these moments in our own lives. From past trials I have learned that God is always there for us, in the midst of all that happens. If you follow the Light of the Lord, he will never fail you. We can plan and we can contemplate, and we can express our opnions and listen to others; but in the end whatever God wants will be the true way and the right way.

  35. Our latest postings make us aware of our likeness to the disciples; we don’t always understand what God is showing to us. We make judgments about how others should deal with God in their lives. We come to peace when we notice Jesus’ patience and mercy regarding his disciples and we take our place with his followers. We are slow to understand; Jesus still uses us to build the kingdom. We make false starts and have to rethink our decisions. We are, nevertheless, enveloped in love and tenderness. Is there any God like our God?

  36. Why do you think Luke presents the transfiguration at this point in the gospel?

    I found myself praying about Jesus face as the Motherhouse community prayed the Stations of the Cross this evening. He is revealing all his suffering through his look, in his eyes, he does not try to protect or hide what he is going through. His transparency is for us to get to know him.

    Perhaps that is one way to look at why the transfiguration gospel is during this lenten time. Jesus is transparent, he is himself, he desires us to see him, all of him.

  37. Gretchen says:

    1. What do you think was going through the minds of the disciples? I don’t think they could imagine what it meant, until they had experienced it all. Just like a woman can’t imagine what childbirth could be like, until they experience it. Reminds me of people who say that someone with depression just needs to “snap out of it.” They don’t understand what it would be like to be in that position until they experience it themselves. How could the disciples even have a clue to what was really to come?

  38. Sister St. Louis Chouinard says:

    Greetings, Sister, and thanks for all the wonderful work you are doing to promote vocations. You are a true, dedicated person for this. May many hearts be touched by your well-delivered talks. I am sure you have the Holy Spirit on your shoulder guiding you. Keep up the good work and may all your efforts be geatly rewarded. You are in my prayers. God
    bless you in all you do. Sister St.Louis

  39. Lois A. Rizzo says:

    Continuing on with the Transfiguration which is tomorrow’s gospel. We can think of his Transfiguration as a reliable witness of the “reality” of the power of GOD and glory which is “JESUS”.
    Because of God’s amazing grace, we can live and be continually transfigured ourselves.
    Each time that we make a good confession, we are being transformed to the Glory of God. The Transfiguration in the second Sunday of Lent is so fitting as we repent and become children of God’s Light.

  40. daughter says:

    Sorry, my theology is rusty……maybe someone can help me out. In reflecting more about the transfiguration, I’ve come to conclude that I don’t really get it. I can’t seem to get my head around transfiguration as “change.” Jesus didn’t need to change and I don’t know…do I really need to change? In small ways, sure…I guess, but I kinda like me…fears, faults, failures in all. They are part of who I am and it is through them that I grow. I do however see the transfiguration as the fullness of revelation. So, I guess I don’t want to change, but I do want to become more of who I already am; to tap into my fullness and to give that spirit to the world. I also want to go for a walk to enjoy the beautiful sunshine today…happy Saturday!

  41. Lois A. Rizzo says:

    Spiritual writers sometimes speak of a “moment of grace” It’s a moment when the border between heaven and earth appears ;to fade for a brief second. It’s a moment when, for a split second of time, God’s presence touches our lives deeply. It’s a moment when, for a split second of time, we are blessed with a faint glimpse of eternity and God’s glory. Such a moment graced Peter, James and John in
    today’s reading. they were never the same after it.

  42. Lois A. Rizzo says:

    Can I recall a “moment of grace” or something akin to it in my life?

    I have flet this “moment of grace” during adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In the stillness of complete dovotion there is often time to feel this great moment. You must be completely overcome by the presence of the Lord through the Holy Spirit working within you.

  43. Thanks to the many who blogged regarding the Transfiguration! The discussion on “change” was interesting and thought provoking. I would just say, “listen to the Holy Spirit” and to the Spirit speaking in those around you. If change is called for, it will be evident. If “all is well” and spiritual deepening (growth) is taking place, don’t “change” anything. There is no “one size fits all” spirituality.

    As we close this second week of Lent, let us be ready to leave the mountaintop of the Transfiguration and prepare to meet the Lord in Luke’s gospel regarding the presence of evil in the world. Tomorrow there will be a new posting with next Sunday’s gospel, a background piece and reflection questions.

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