Theme of the Sunday: The Vocation of Abraham and the Vocation of the Christian. The life of a Christian can be compared to a journey undertaken in the company of the Master. Abraham was the first to set off on this journey iii answer to a call from God (first reading). Like him every catechumen is invited to leave his “country.” The Gospel shows us the only light that the catechumen should follow. The second reading calls upon the disciples not to be discouraged when they meet difficulties.
Entrance Antiphon Cr. Ps 27:8-9
Of you my heart has spoken, Seek his face. It is your face, O LORD, that I seek; hide not your face from me.
O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory. Through our Lord. . .
The call of Abraham, the father of the People of God.
A reading from the Book of Genesis (Genesis 12: 1 – 4a)
In those days: The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.” So Abram went, as the LORD had told him.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 33 :4-5. 18-19.20 and 22 (R. 22)
R/. May your merciful love be upon us, as we hope in you, O Lord.
The word of the Lord is faithful,
and all his works to be trusted.
The Lord loves justice and right,
and his merciful love fills the earth. R/.
Yes, the Lord’s eyes are on those who fear him,
who hope in his merciful love,
to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine. R/.
Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
He is our help and our shield.
May your merciful love be upon us,
as we hope in you, O Lord. R/.
God calls and enlightens us
A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:8b-10)
Beloved: Take your share of suffering for the Gospel in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, and now has manifested through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.
The word of the Lord
VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL Cf. Matthew 17:5
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.
“His face shone like the sun.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 17: 1-9)
At that time: Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking, when behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, arid have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Jesus Christ was transfigured before Peter, James and John, Moses and Elijah, two great prophets of the Old Testament were also present. Seeing this spectacle, Peter did not want to leave Christ’s presence. The three disciples caught a glimpse of the glory of God, the glory they will come to share in later. However, to share in that glory, they will have to go through suffering just as Christ went through this own passion. The followers of Christ too, must necessarily pass through this same route. They must not shy away from it, they must embrace it. We get purified through suffering. We must allow ourselves to be transfigured by Christ himself, so as to become new creatures in him (2 Cor 5, 17). Until we learn the way of the Cross, we cannot lay claims to being disciples of Christ.