Discussion Questions

First Reading
Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18

F1. In this reading, God promises Abram that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars. It is to this promise that Abraham (Gen 22:9) will cling as he raises the knife to kill sacrifice his son. Where do you fall on the continuum when blind trust is required of you, with 1 being low and 10 high?

F2. God asks Abraham to sacrifice a heifer, she-goat ram, turtledove and pigeon. Do you think God is preparing Abraham to offer the son Isaac, whom he loves most, as a sacrifice (Gen 22:1ff)? Is God the Father willing to let his own beloved son die, to show how God will go for humankind? Is Jesus willing to give his life (in union with the Father’s willingness to give everything, even his son) to show how much God loves humankind?

Second Reading
Philippians 3:17-4:1 or 3:20-4:1

S1. In his Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Thomas Merton says “There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.” Discuss this idea as it relates to “He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body. …” from this reading. (Merton)

S2. Is your mind occupied with earthly things? Who or what helps you toward your “citizenship in heaven”?

Gospel
Luke 9:28b-36

G1. In the blinding light, did Peter, James and John begin to see or understand who Jesus was? Think of some times that you have seen the divine not in a transfiguration but in the ordinary. Please share your experiences with others.

G2. Pope Francis reflected on the Transfiguration with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on the second Sunday in Lent. What does he say is the important message of the Transfiguration?

The mountain is the site of the encounter [of] intimate closeness with God—the place of prayer, in which to stand in the presence of the Lord. We, the disciples of Jesus, are called to be people who listen to His voice and take his words seriously. To listen to Jesus, we must follow Him.

We need to go to a place of retreat, to climb the mountain and go to a place of silence, to find ourselves and better perceive the voice of the Lord. We cannot stay there, however. The encounter with God in prayer again pushes us to 'come down from the mountain' and back down into the plain, where we meet many brothers and sisters weighed down by fatigue, injustice, and both material and spiritual poverty.

Pope Francis: We need to climb the mountain,
but we cannot stay there March 16, 2014

 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson