Second Sunday of Lent (C)
March 13, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.






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 Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading Gn 15:5-12,17-18 

The Lord God took Abram outside and said, 
"Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.
Just so," he added, "shall your descendants be."
Abram put his faith in the LORD, 
who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.

He then said to him, 
"I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans 
to give you this land as a possession."
"O Lord GOD," he asked, 
"how am I to know that I shall possess it?"
He answered him, 
"Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, 
a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon."
Abram brought him all these, split them in two, 
and placed each half opposite the other; 
but the birds he did not cut up.
Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, 
but Abram stayed with them.
As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram, 
and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.

When the sun had set and it was dark, 
there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, 
which passed between those pieces.
It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram,
saying: "To your descendants I give this land, 
from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates."

Responsorial Psalm 27:1,7-8,8-9,13-14 

R/. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?

Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.

Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.

Second Reading Phil 3:20-4:1 

Brothers and sisters:
Our citizenship is in heaven, 
and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body
to conform with his glorified body 
by the power that enables him also 
to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, 
in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.

Verse Before the Gospel cf. Mt 17:5 

Gospel Lk 8:28b-36 

Jesus took Peter, John, and James 
and went up the mountain to pray.
While he was praying his face changed in appearance 
and his clothing became dazzling white.
And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, 
who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus 
that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, 
but becoming fully awake, 
they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
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.
While he was still speaking, 
a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, 
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
Then from the cloud came a voice that said, 
"This is my chosen Son; listen to him."
After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
They fell silent and did not at that time 
tell anyone what they had seen.

Reflection Questions

  1. How has your own faith been/being put to the test?
  2. What challenges you to “stand firm in the Lord?”
  3. What makes it “good for you to be here?”

Catena Nova

When the soul is counted worthy to enjoy communion with the Spirit of the light of God, and when God shines upon the soul with the beauty of his ineffable glory, preparing her as a throne and dwelling for himself, she becomes all light, all face, all eye. Then there is no part of her that is not full of the spiritual eyes of light. There is no part of her that is in darkness, but she is transfigured wholly and in every part with light and spirit. Just as the sun is the same throughout, having neither back nor anything irregular, but is wholly glorified with light and is all light, being transformed in every part; or as fire, with its burning sheath of flame, is constant throughout, having neither a beginning for an end, being neither larger nor smaller in any part, so also when the soul is perfectly illumined with the ineffable beauty and glory of the light of Christ’s countenance, and granted perfect communion with the Holy Spirit and counted worthy to become the dwelling-place and throne of God, then the soul becomes all eye, all light, all face, all glory, all spirit. (Pseudo-Macarius)

I entered into the secret closet of my soul, led by Thee; and this I could do because Thou wast my helper. I entered, and behold with the mysterious eye of my soul the Light that never changes, above the eye of my soul, above my intelligence. It was not the common light which all flesh can see, nor was it greater yet of the same kind, as if the light of day were to grow brighter and brighter and flood all space. It was not like this, but different: altogether different from all such things. Nor was it above my intelligence in the same way as oil is above water, or heaven above earth; but it was higher because it made me, and I was lower because made by it. He who knoweth the truth knoweth that Light: and who knoweth it, knoweth eternity. Love knoweth it.(St. Augustine of Hippo)

The Lord reveals his glory in the presence of chosen witnesses. His body is like that of the rest of mankind, but he makes it shine with such splendour that his face becomes like the sun in glory, and his garments as white as snow The great reason for this transfiguration was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of his disciples, and to prevent the humiliation of his voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed.  With no less forethought he was also providing a firm foundation for the hope of holy Church. The whole body of Christ was to understand the kind of transformation that it would receive as his gift: the members of that body were to look forward to a share in that glory which first blazed out in Christ their head. (Pope St. Leo the Great)

In most holy contemplation
we shall be ever filled with the sight of God
shining gloriously around us,
as once it shone for the disciples
at the divine Transfiguration.
And there we shall be,
our minds away from passion and from earth
and we shall have a conceptual gift, of light from Him
and, somehow, in a way we cannot know,
we shall be united with Him
and, our understanding carried away,
blessedly happy,
we shall be struck by His blazing light.
Marvellously, our minds,
will be like those in the heavens above. (Pseudo Dionysius the Areopogite)

It is indeed good to be here, as you have said, Peter.   It is good to be with Jesus and to remain here forever. What greater happiness or higher honour could we have than to be with God, to be made like Him and to live in His light? Therefore, since each of us possesses God in his heart and is being transformed into His divine image, we also should cry out with joy:  It is good for us to be here – here where all things shine with divine radiance, where there is joy and gladness and exultation; where there is nothing in our hearts but peace, serenity and stillness;  where God is seen.  For here, in our hearts, Christ takes up His abode together with the Father, saying as He enters:  Today salvation has come to this house. With Christ, our hearts receive all the wealth of His eternal blessings and there where they are stored up for us in Him, we see reflected as in a mirror both the first fruits and the whole of the world to come. (St Anastasius of Sinai)

You reign on the Almighty’s throne
Also in transfigured human form,
Ever since the completion of your work on earth.
I believe this because your word teaches me so,
And because I believe, I know it gives me joy,
And blessed hope blooms forth from it. (St Edith Stein/Benedicta of the Cross)

Union with God, which Jesus otherwise holds hidden in the ultimate depths of his soul, now fills up all the chambers of his soul, it embraces his body, drawing it, too, into the blessedness of God's light and God's unity. “His face was like the sun, and his clothes were as radiant as light.”... And just as at the baptism, the voice of the Father confirms here, too, that this poor, praying Jesus, consecrated for suffering, and heroically prepared for the cross, is God's very beloved Son. This then is the meaning of the transfiguration for Jesus himself: in the dark night of earthly hopelessness the light of God shines, a human heart finds in God the power in which turns a dying into a victory and into the redemption of the world. (Fr. Karl Rahner)


When You Haven’t Got a Prayer

            “For your penance, say five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys.”  Whenever I’ve said those words, in the back of my mind, I’ve thought to myself, “This is kind of silly.  Why should prayer be a penance?  I for one like to pray.  Fasting and almsgiving I can see, but why make prayer a penance?  As if calling on God in the words Jesus taught us, or on Mary in the words the angel addressed to her were something of a burden, imposed for the purpose of amendment?”

            Oh, I suppose prayer requires an effort we may find difficult to make.  For example, prayer takes time we might prefer to spend doing something else.  It takes discipline too, for prayer --serious prayer-- can never be haphazard, but ought to be regular.  But why should prayer, which after all is conversation with God be considered a drag, something we do because we have sinned?  That’s what I don’t understand.

            Especially since people who pray know that prayer can be blissful, even ecstatic.  They also know prayer can be consoling, even the source of great pleasure.  For prayer is union with God, for whom we are made, as Augustine famously said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.”  And when someone discovers such rest in God, the fulfillment of their desire in prayer, well, it’s something like a mountaintop experience.

            In other words, it can be like joining Peter, John and James, the time Jesus took them up onto a mountain to pray.  [And] while he was praying, his face was changed in appearance and his clothes became dazzlingly white (G).  Oh yes, prayer can be like that -- a transfiguration-- when all is light and the presence of God something you feel.  So again I wonder, why should prayer be a penance?

            But then, I read something like the story of Abram and I begin to see why.  For Abram, who was greatly consoled in prayer by God’s promise to have descendants as numerous as the stars, and a land for them to inhabit, Abram knew a sacrifice on his part was involved.  It began when God called Abram and Sarai in their old age to move from Ur of the Chaldeans to the land God would give them as a possession (I).  After all, the rewards promised far outweighed the difficulties involved in uprooting themselves.

            But at just the moment when God seemed closest to Abram, lavish with signs of affection, when the covenant between them was about to be sealed, and Abram had done what the Lord asked of him, at just that moment birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses of the animals which Abram  offered. . .[and] as the sun was about to set. . .a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him (I).  The old man and his wife must have wondered what went wrong.  Where did God go?  What happened to the promise?

            The Bible tells us, however, how in that moment Abram stayed with his offering, not going back on his part.  And how just when it was dark, there appeared a smoking brazier and a flaming torch. . . And it was on that occasion that the Lord made a covenant with Abram (I).  So God, after all, was nearest to Abram in the dark and the fear, after the sun had set and the light gone out.  It was then that God accepted the sacrifice, and Abram’s faith was credited to him by the Lord as an act of righteousness (cf. I).

            But for many of us, rather than “stay with” our sacrifice as Abram did, persever­ing in prayer when God seems absent, when God seems to have left us exposed to birds of prey -- for many of us in such moments we leave prayer and withdraw to the land we left behind.  Oh yes, in such moments prayer can be a real penance, a trial by fire.

            I can just hear Paul saying to those who flee from prayer in such moments, Unfortunately, many go about in a way which shows them to be enemies of the cross of Christ (II).  For prayer, you see, is a share, not only in the glory of Christ and his resurrection, but also his forsakenness and his passion.  Indeed, right there on the mountain where Jesus took the apostles, right there in the middle of all that glory, Moses and Elijah were speaking with Jesus of his passage which he was about to fulfil in Jerusalem (G).  Meaning his death and resurrection.

            And right at that point Luke tells us Peter and those with him had fallen into a deep sleep (G) -- as they will again in the Garden of Olives when Jesus was arrested.  As if to say, when a cloud appears on the bright horizon, and dims the light -- unlike Abram -- some folks check out.  And rather than enter the cloud, as Moses, Elijah and Jesus did, grow fearful instead.

            So prayer just might be penance – not the “five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys” type of prayer  --  but the kind that draws us into intimacy with the Divine along with the challenges such a relationship entails.  This is the kind of prayer which purifies our faith, proves our hope, and tests our love: w­hen mountains become deserts; transfigurations, crucifix­ions; when God’s speaking voice falls silent.  It’s the kind of prayer that’s being extolled in the daily offerings from the Song of Songs posted throughout Lent on this website.  And in all such moments, my brothers [and sisters], you whom I love and long for, you who are my joy and my crown, in all such times,  continue my dear ones, to stand firm in the Lord (cf. II).  Who lives and reigns, forever and ever.  Amen.



Intercessions (Archdiocese of Adleaide)

Brothers and sisters, from last Sunday’s the dark temptations of Jesus in the wilderness, we are taken to a mountain top, to see Jesus, radiant with light.

May the Church, in its diversity in Ukraine, Catholic and Orthodox, be an instrument of peace, so that in the experience of this present war, it will help those suffering, injured and grieving and reestablish respect and harmony.

May we all seek that conversion of heart this Lent, through which we face the reality of our sin and experience the forgiveness of Christ.

For those preparing for baptism, and all people searching for faith, that they may discover the true light, which is Jesus Christ, and so come to understand the meaning of life which leads to eternal glory.

For the suffering people of Ukraine, those who have become refugees, and their families scattered across the globe, that the war will cease so that Russia and Ukraine can together build up peace again.

May wealthy nations show that deep compassion by which they will make available the Covid Vaccine to nations unable to afford it or do not have the means to distribute it widely.

Through the intercession of St. Joseph, patron of a happy death, may all be received into the heavenly home who have died during this pandemic and in armed conflicts and may he be close to all who are approaching death at this time.

God of the covenant,
your presence fills us with awe,
your word gives us unshakeable hope.
Fix in our hearts
the image of your Son in glory,
that, sustained on the path of discipleship,
we may pass over with him to newness of life.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)



Transform us as you, transfigured, stood apart on Tabor’s height. Lead us up our sacred mountains, search us with revealing light. Lift us from where we have fallen, full of questions, filled with fright.

Transform us as you, transfigured, once spoke with those holy ones. We, surrounded by the witness of those saints whose work is done, Live in this world as your Body, chosen daughters, chosen sons.

Transform us as you, transfigured, would not stay within a shrine. Keep us from our great temptation - time and truth we quickly bind. Lead us down those daily pathways where our love is not confined. Amen.

(Spiritual Communion)

After the Lord’s Prayer, invite the transforming Light into your heart and be aware how good it is to be in communion with the Lord. 



Closing Hymn


Be still, my soul, and rest upon the Lord in quiet certainty.

For He has come to rescue you from doubt.

And now you stand in blazing glory of a risen sun  that cannot set.

 It will forever be exactly as it is.

You stand with Him  within a radiance prepared for you  before time was and far beyond its reach.

Be still and know. And knowing, be you sure  your Lord has come to you.

There is no doubt that stands before His countenance, nor can  conceal from you what He would have you see.

The sun has risen. He has come at last.  Where stands His presence there can be no past.

Be still, my soul, and rest upon the Lord  who comes to keep the promise of His Word.