5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed the LORD; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7 And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” 8 But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?”
9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he brought him all these, cut them in two, and laid each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two.11 And when birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram; and lo, a dread and great darkness fell upon him.17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.
18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,
Philippians 3:17-21; 4:1
17 Brethren, join in imitating me, and mark those who so live as you have an example in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
19 Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
20 But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21 who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.1 Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white.
30 And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.
32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.
33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”–not knowing what he said.
34 As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.
35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
Abram is concerned that he did not have a son to continue his journey to fulfill his promise to God. With this said, the Lord made Abram look up, view and count the number of stars to foretell the number of his future offspring. Still not satisfied with God’s test, Abram is asked to present animal and bird sacrificial offerings after which he was put into a deep sleep by God. Under cover of darkness, a flame of fire supernaturally passed between the animal and bird sacrificial offerings that established God’s Divine covenant promise with Abram.
St PAULS EPISTLE is a response to the reported moral and lifestyle struggles emmenating from the Philippian community who basked in self-adulation and worldly pleasures of the flesh. Paul issued a cautionary notice that the continuation of a shameful way of life shall bring about the peoples self destruction.
THE GOSPEL READING: Peter, James and John are awakened from a heavy sleep to witness the glorification of Jesus, who was in the company of Moses and Elijah discussing His odyssey to complete the journey to the promised land, that began with Abraham. Peters proposition that three booths be set up for Jesus, Moses and Elijah, were interupted when he James and John were overshadowed by a cloud or ‘shekhinah’ whereby they experienced the Divine love of God. Booths were temporary dwelling places made with palm trees and branches that was suitable to observe the feast of Sukkot. This Feast of Tabernacles required seven days of fasting and prayer wherethrough the Hebrew people sought to be cleansed from their sins.
The Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation events wereby we were supernaturally transformed and made members of the body of Christ. Whilst it is true that our bodies are but temporary dwelling places wherein Christ reside, we must endeavor to live out our vocation; to know, love and serve God. During this time we are called to visit the Confessional, repent of our sins, failing which the enemy of the cross will preculde us from entering our heavenly abode to be transformed, glorified and crowned with the love of God.
LET US PRAY:Psalms 27:1,7-9,13-14
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
8 Thou hast said, “Seek ye my face.” My heart says to thee, “Thy face, LORD, do I seek.” 9 Hide not thy face from me. Turn not thy servant away in anger, thou who hast been my help. Cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the LORD!
Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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