The readings for the second Sunday of Lent follow the same pattern over the three years of the liturgical cycle. The first reading is always about Abraham. The Gospel is always the story of the transfiguration, this year in Mark’s version.
1st Reading: Genesis 22:1-2. 9-13. 15-18
Abraham is the great Old Testament figure of faith. At the age of seventy-five he answered the call of God and set off for an unknown land.
2nd Reading: Romans 8:31-34
Paul poses questions: “With God on our side who can be against us?” “When God acquits, could anyone condemn?” The answer is “No!”
Gospel: Mark 9:2-10
For the second time in the Gospels, at Jesus’ transfiguration, the voice of the Father informs the disciples that Jesus is the Father’s beloved Son and adds, “Listen to him.”
Antiphon to the Psalm:
I will walk in the presence of the Lord of the living.
Entrance Antiphon: Psalm 26: 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 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: Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18
God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he called. ‘Here I am’ he replied. ‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.’ When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he said. ‘I am here’ he replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.’ Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son. The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self – it is the Lord who speaks – because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.’
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 115(116):10,15-19
Response: I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
I trusted, even when I said: ‘I am sorely afflicted,’ O precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful. R.
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I; you have loosened my bonds. A thanksgiving sacrifice I make; I will call on the Lord’s name. R.
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil before all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. R.
Second reading: Romans 8:31-34
With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.
Gospel Acclamation: Matthew 17:5
Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ! From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: this is my beloved Son, hear him. Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!
Gospel Reading: Mark 9:2-10
Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so, let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them anymore but only Jesus. As they came down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.
Prayer over the Offerings:
May this sacrifice, O Lord, we pray, cleanse us of our faults and sanctify your faithful in body and mind for the celebration of the paschal festivities. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Communion Antiphon: Mt 17: 5
This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.
Prayer after Communion:
As we receive these glorious mysteries, we make thanksgiving to you, O Lord, for allowing us while still on earth to be partakers even now of the things of heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer in a Time of a Pandemic
Holy God, you are our comfort and strength in times of Crisis, Pandemic and Uncertainty. Surround us now with your grace and peace through this global pandemic of COVID 19. By your Spirit, help those for whom the effects of this pandemic have been severe and even tragic. Sustain those who are working hard through it. Grant your wisdom to those governing and guiding us to a sense of normality. Fill us all with courage and hope of better days ahead. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our rock and redeemer. Amen.