Sunday, March 16, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, March 16, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Genesis 12:1-4
The Lord said to Abram: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you.” Abram went as the Lord directed him.
P S A L M - Psalm 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
R: Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Upright is the word of the Lord, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full. (R) 18 See, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. (R) 20Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help and our shield. 22 May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us who have put our hope in you. (R)
2ND READING - 2 Timothy 1:8-10
Beloved: Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son, hear him.
Matthew 17:1-9
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”


In the film Flight, airline captain William “Whip” Whitaker (Denzel Washington) piloted a flight to Atlanta after a night of sex, alcohol, drugs and vey little sleep. On the flight, Whip drank alcohol mixed with orange juice. When the plane suddenly took a nosedive because of a mechanical failure, he arrested its fast descent by flying it upside down and then maneuvering it back right side up to crash-land in an open field. His brilliance saved 96 of the 102 people on board.

       Later, investigation reports unraveled Whip’s alcoholism and drug addiction. The following scenes showed him in prison but slowly recovering as he joined a support group. He finally admitted he had a drug and drinking problem. In a meeting with fellow alcoholics, he said, “This might come strange from someone in prison. But for the first time in my life, I am free.”

       Freedom is not the power to do what I like. Rather, freedom is the power to choose what I ought to do. When I orient and align my power of choice to that which is true, good and beautiful, then I am free. My power of choice is transfigured into genuine freedom.

       In today’s Gospel, Moses and Elijah were shown conversing with Jesus. Moses represented the law and commandments, Elijah the prophets. In Jesus, the commands and words of God are incarnated, and we are transfigured.

       Modern man avoids the commands and words of God because, deep within, he sees God as a threat to his own freedom. Nothing can be farther from the truth. In one of his writings, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI reminds us that God is actually the guarantor of human freedom. He created us simply to share with us His very life.

       Whip may never be re-issued a pilot’s license and be able to fly again as a pilot. But he will surely soar up to the mountain of his newfound transfiguration. Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What is your concept of freedom? Does it really make you free to be what God intends you to be?
You created me, Lord, and gave me freedom. Help me use that freedom to follow Your will for my life.

St. Clement Mary Hofbauer, pray for us.

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