God enters into a covenant with the faithful Abraham
A reading from the Book of Genesis (Genesis 15:5-12, 17 – 18)
In those days: God brought Abram outside and said, “look, towards heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them,” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be. “And he believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness. And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in two, and laid each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram; and behold, a dread and great darkness fell upon him. When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.”
The word of the Lord
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 27: 1, 7-8b, 8c-9abc, 13-14 (R/. 1a)
R/. The Lord is my light and my salvation
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
whom should I dread? R/.
O Lord, hear my voice when I call;
have mercy and answer me.
Of you my heart has spoken, “Seek his face.” R/.
R/. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
It is your face, O Lord, that I seek;
hide not your face from me.
Dismiss not your servant in anger;
you have been my help. R/.
I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong;
be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord! R/.
Christ will change us to be like his glorious body.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians (Philippians 3: 17- 4: 1)
Brethren, join in imitating me, and mark those who so walk as you have an example in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in this way in the Lord, my beloved.
The word of the Lord.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: this is my beloved Son, hear him. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
“As he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 9:28b-36)
At that time: Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep but kept awake, and they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men here parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”— not knowing what he said. As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
The Gospel of the Lord.
“It is wonderful that we are here. “Why not remain here permanently, praying and enjoying this holy companionship? Such a religious experience is good and transforming – it brings one closer to God. But the test of a good religion experience is our everyday life with its challenges. It is wonderful that we gather every Sunday to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus and, like the disciples, to have a religious experience. We come with our joys and hopes, our anxieties and sorrows, our thanksgiving and praises, our needs and desires. We listen to the Word of God and receive Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. At the end of the Mass we are sent back to our everyday life, to our homes and places of work – to become witnesses of the transforming religious experience we had at Mass. How much of the Mass do we take home? How much of it is reflected in our life and encounter?