LECTIO DIVINA: 2nd Sunday of Lent, Cycle B
Translated by Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR
A. INVOCATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
WE INVOKE THE HOLY SPIRIT USING THE WORDS OF ST. AUGUSTINE
Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ, is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come, Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God; put in us your flame; enlighten us and raise us up to God (s. 128, 4). Amen.
WITH THE HEART WELL DISPOSED, WITH SERENITY, READ SLOWLY THE FOLLOWING WORDS, SAVORING THEM AND ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE TOUCHED BY THEM.
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.
LET US MEDITATE NOW WITH THE COMMENTARY OF ST. AUGUSTINE ON THESE WORDS OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MARK.
“The Lord Jesus himself shone like the sun; his clothes became white as snow and, Moses and Elijah were speaking with him. Jesus himself shone like the sun to signify that he is the light that illumines every man who comes into this world. What this sun is for the physical eyes, that is he for the eyes of the heart; and what this is for the body, he it is for the heart. For its part, his clothes are the Church. In fact, the clothes if not sustained by the one who puts them on, falls to the floor,… Of what value are Moses and Elijah, i.e., the Law and the Prophets, if their conversation with Jesus is put aside? If not for the witness they give to Jesus, who would read the Torah and the Prophets? See how concisely the Apostle affirms it: Through the Law, therefore, comes consciousness of sin; but now without the Law the Justice of God is manifested: this is the sun; witnessed to by the Law and the Prophets: this is its splendor.
Peter saw this, and judging the human in a human way, he says: Lord, it is good for us to be here. Bored by the multitude, he had found the solitude of the mountain. There he had Christ, Bread for the Spirit. Why get out of there and go towards the fatigue and the pains, if he possessed holy love whose object was God, and, therefore, good customs? He wanted that things go well with him; that is why he added If you wish, let us build three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. The Lord made no reply to any of these, but Peter did receive an answer; because, while he was saying this, a brilliant cloud came and covered them. He sought three tents. The answer from heaven showed that for us it is only one reality what human criterion wants to separate. Christ is the Word of God: the Word of God in the Law; the Word of God in the Prophets. Why do you, Peter, want to separate? Yet it is convenient to unite. You seek three tents: recognize also that it is one.
Thus, when the cloud covered all of them making in a sense one tent for all of them, a voice also sounded from heaven that said: this is my beloved Son. There was Moses, there was Elijah. It did not say: “These are my beloved sons.” In fact, one thing is the Only Begotten Son and another are the sons by adoption. He is recommended in whom the Law and the Prophets find glory. This is my beloved Son –he says- in whom I am well pleased; listen to him, because it is he whom you have heard in the Law and in the Prophets. And where have you not heard him? On hearing this, they fell prostrate on the ground. The Kingdom of God is thus manifested to us in the Church. Here is the Lord; the Law , here is the Law and the Prophets: the Lord as Lord, the Law personified in Moses, and Prophecy personified in Elijah. But these in the condition of servants, of ministers. They, as vessels; He as the Fount. Moses and the prophets spoke and wrote, but as it flowed through them, they took from him….
Descend, Peter. You wanted to rest on the mountain: come down, preach the word, insist in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. Work hard, sweat, suffer some torments to possess in charity, for the bleaching and beauty of the good works, symbolized in the white garments of the Lord. In fact, when the Apostle was read, we heard him say in praise of charity: He seeks not his own, he seeks not his own, since he gives away what he possesses (s. 78, 1-4. 6).
WITH THE TEXT, LET US NOW PRAY FROM THE DEPTHS OF OUR HEART. I SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING PHRASES AND QUESTIONS THAT CAN AWAKEN IN YOU DIALOGUE WITH GOD, AND AT THE SAME TIME CAN GIVE RISE TO AFFECTIONS AND SENTIMENTS IN YOUR DIALOGUE WITH GOD. DO NOT MOVE TO THE NEXT PHRASE OR QUESTION IF YOU CAN STILL CONTINUE DIALOGUING WITH GOD IN ONE OF THEM. IT IS NOT A MATTER OF EXHAUSTING THE LIST, BUT OF HELPING YOU TO PRAY WITH SOME POINTS THAT BETTER FIT YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
a. “Jesus himself shone like the sun to signify that he is the light that illumines every man who comes into this world” (s. 78, 1).
- What does it mean that Christ is the light of my life?
- How do you reflect in your daily life the light that your receive from Christ?
b. “This is my Beloved Son, listen to him” (Mk. 9:6).
•What do you need to listen to the voice of Christ?
•At these moments of your life, what commitment does the voice of Christ ask of you?
I PROPOSE TO YOU SOME POINTS FOR AFFECTIVE INTERIOR CONTEMPLATION. ONCE AGAIN, YOU NEED NOT FOLLOW ALL OF IT, RATHER YOU CAN CHOOSE WHAT FITS YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
a. Contemplate Christ in the transfiguration. Contemplate his glory and splendor. Adore his divinity and majesty.
b.Contemplate Christ in the moment of transfiguration and try to make real what the Gospel says; i.e., listen to him. Make of your prayer a moment of adoration and of loving listening to his word.
THINK OF EVERYTHING THAT YOU CAN SHARE WITH THOSE AROUND YOU ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE YOU HAD WITH GOD, ESPECIALLY CONCERNING THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST AND THE UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT. THE FOLLOWING POINTS CAN HELP YOU AS GUIDE TO SHARE WITH YOUR COMMUNITY THE EXPERIENCE OF THE LECTIO DIVINA ON THIS TEXT.
• What have I discovered about God and about myself in this moment of prayer?
• How can I apply this text of Scripture at this moment of my life? What light does it give me? What challenges does it put before me?
• What concrete commitment does this text of Scripture ask of me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
• What has been my predominant sentiment during this moment of prayer?
G. FINAL PRAYER OF ST. AUGUSTINE
Turning towards the Lord: Lord God, Father Almighty, with a pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that by your power you may drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions; that you may increase our faith, govern our mind, give us spiritual thoughts, and bring us to your happiness, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen (en, Ps. 150:8).