"This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Lent is a time of turning to the Lord, and listening to him. The Lord Jesus going up to Mt. Tabor with Peter, James and John (cf Mt 17:1-9) reminds us of another figure in Scripture who went up a mountain with three companions: Moses when he went up Mt Sinai with Aaron Nadab and Abihu (cf. Ex24).
The presence of God was on that mountain and it was covered by the bright luminous cloud of God's presence. Later when Moses returned to his companions his face and his garments were radiant. And they feared to look upon him. So when Moses told the people of Israel of God's commands and his plan for Israel, they listened to him.
In the first reading God gave a command and a promise to Abram: Go to the land I will show you... I will make of you a great nation, and all the nations of the earth will find blessing in you" (cf Gn 12: 1-4).
God now reveals that Jesus is the One who fulfills this great plan. As Jesus' face and garments become radiant with the light and glory of God, Moses and Elijah appear next to him and converse with him about the Law and Prophets, meaning that everything God promised is about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem, by His cross and resurrection.
St Paul teaches us that because of our baptism we became children of Abraham, and heirs to the promise of Abraham our father in faith (2Tm 1:8-10). The Lord has saved us, and calls us to a holy life as we heard in the second reading.
Just as Moses led Israel through the exodus to the promised land, we are to follow the Lord Jesus to the eternal and heavenly promised land. As Abram obeyed and followed the Lord, lets listen to the voice of our Father this lent: as he says "This is my beloved son, listen to him!”
God bless you all,
Father Robert Letona
On March 17th the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Patrick. While the secular world celebrates with Leprechauns and drunkenness, we recall the man, the saint. He was born in Britain to a well-to-do Romanized family in the 5th century AD. He was captured by pirates at the age of 16, and spent six years as a slave in Ireland. Upon his escape, he entered a monastery in France. After some study, he was ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop. He took upon himself the extraordinary task of establishing the Catholic Faith on the Emerald Isle. Imagine, desiring and arduously working to bring Jesus Christ to the people who once held you in captivity. As bishop and missionary, he survived 12 kidnappings and an order for his execution. He endured the constant and violent hatred of the Druidic (Pagan) priests.
Patrick was devoted to the orthodox teaching of the Church, defending true doctrine, in particular, the Holy Trinity. He famously used the shamrock as an image of understanding the One God in three Divine Persons.
"Patrick won many converts by miraculous acts that are impossible to explain to the modern rationalist, but that have as their supporting testimony the fact that Irish chieftain after Irish chieftain - and their tribes- accepted the Catholic faith as delivered by Patrick, rejecting their Druidic gods. One can only ask why, given that Patrick brought them no secular advantages.” (Crocker, Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church, p. 94)