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Acting on It

First Reading: Genesis 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: Psalm 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14

R. (1a) 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?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
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.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
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.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Second Reading: Philippians 3:17—4:1

Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters,
and observe those who thus conduct themselves
according to the model you have in us.
For many, as I have often told you
and now tell you even in tears,
conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their end is destruction.
Their God is their stomach;
their glory is in their “shame.”
Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
But 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.

Gospel: Luke 9:28B-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.

NAB

feb 21

Have you ever come home from a retreat or pilgrimage that just left you floating high spiritually? Prayer comes more easily or maybe you hear God’s small, still voice a little more clearly? Sound familiar? Yes, I am sure we’ve all had experiences like that in our walk of faith.

Peter, James, and John are flying high spiritually and they don’t want to leave their mountain top experience. They see and experience Jesus in miraculous glory, not to mention He’s chatting with famous Old Testament prophets telling them what the Father will accomplish through Him in Jerusalem. Think of it like a miniature version of a Heavenly party. Let’s be honest, would you want to leave a party like that? Yeah, me neither.

And Peter’s response always makes me chuckle because I see so much of myself in him: “Lord, this is awesome! Why don’t we pitch a tent and set up camp, so we can continue to worship? This is the best thing ever! John come help me get these tent stakes in the ground!”

And while it is not directly stated in this passage, there’s a sense that our spiritual worship needs to be much more than just worship. Our worship of God should lead to action. Our worship should lead to us becoming the hands and feet of Christ in the world. Our worship of God should push us to become as the Holy Father says, “missionaries of mercy.” While it is nice and beautiful, we cannot stay on the mountaintop forever. We have to come back down, get our hands dirty, and allow our worship to transform how we live and love.

Yes, it is good that we pray the Rosary, go to Mass, and read God’s Word. But all those acts of worship ideally transform us from the inside out, as then we go out to transform the world in the name of Christ in our own special ways.

Yes, it is good that we are here, but it is even better to be sent out, whatever that looks like in your life.

How is your spiritual worship leading to action where God has put you in life? Where are you being sent out to be His hands and feet? Spend some time sitting with that today.

photo credit

Patty Hubbard is a runner, youth minister ordinaire, and recovering know-it-all. When not fundraising for World Youth Day, she is learning to find grace in all things. You can find out more about her here.

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